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A unique gem of 15.5 hectares in the heart of Athens, the National Gardens provide locals and visitors with shelter, shade and opportunities for recreation and exploration. However, exactly like everything else in Athens, the Gardens have a long history that, exactly like the paths inside, is not at all linear, but rather winding… A green area in the ancient times at the outskirts of Athens with the Ilissos river floating nearby, it became part of the roman expansion of the city later. After the War of the Greek Independence it was a barren area. It was on this unlikely area that Amalia of Oldenburg, Bavaria, the first queen of the new Greek state, started creating in 1838 what would become an oasis of peace in the city center, the Royal Gardens, right next to the Palace, now Parliament building. Collecting flora from almost every corner of the world she managed to formed a botanical garden of rare aesthetic value. There are trees and flowers here that we don’t find anywhere else in the country. 

A public park today, it welcomes everybody from sunrise to sunset for a stroll, play or recreation. Endless paths that make it look dreamy, lakes and ponds with fish and turtles, a small zoo, a library for children and a botanical museum complete a puzzle of pleasant surprises. Hidden somewhere in the Gardens, the persistent explorer can even discover a roman-era mosaic floor and other architectural parts of ancient and newer monuments. Last but not least the busts of politicians, poets, musicians and benefactors turn the park into an open-air art gallery. The tall, imposing palm trees at the entrance from the Amalias avenue remind of its history but also prepare us for an experience different and unique.
Written: Kostas Kastellakis
Edited: Marianna Filippoglou 
Πανελλήνια Ομοσπονδία Ξεναγών Παγκόσμια Ομοσπονδίας Ξεναγών (W.F.T.G.A.) Ευρωπαϊκή Ομοσπονδία Ξεναγών (F.E.G.)

The Association represents its highly qualified members who are certified by the Greek State. They cover a wide range of programs that can satisfy any demand in 28 different languages. According to the Greek Law, only Licensed Tourist Guides are permitted to guide you anywhere.

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