Other sights of Athens

Neoclassical buildings: The movement of Neoclassicism is of particular importance to the Hellenic history of the 19th century because it combines the effort of Greece to stand next the other states of Europe. An important role in this movement is played by the imposing neoclassical buildings of Attika, such as the university, the library, the academy of Athens, which are all perfect in analogies and have a marvellous sculptural decoration, the building of the Greek parliament which was the home of the palace built by Gertner, Zappeio built by Boulanze and Hansen and Arsakeio built by Kaftantzoglou, the municipal gallery, the national archaeological museum, the national historic museum and others. Ernst Ziller is the most important representative of the Neoclassicism amongst his works which stand out today are the Presidents Mansion, the National theatre, Iliou Melathron and the building of the foreign affairs ministry.

Attica Zoological Park: The Attica Zoological Park extends to a total area of 20 hectares, hosting more than 2000 animals from 350 different species.

It opened in May 2000, initially as a Bird Park, hosting the 3rd largest bird collection in the world (1100 birds from 300 different species), farm animals for the younger visitors and 3 very impressive walk-in aviaries – miniatures of the 3 continents – in which visitors can walk and admire the relevant bird fauna and flora.

In April 2001, when the “World of Reptiles” was added to the Attica Zoological Park, constant expansions and additions began including the “Greek Fauna” section, with animals rarely seen in Greece (summer 2002), the “African Savannah” with animals from Africa (February 2003), the monkeys and apes section (June 2003), the completion of the “Big Cats” section and the extension of the African Savannah (December 2004), the “Monkey Forest”, where visitors can be in the same enclosure with the monkeys (early 2005), the “Cheetah Land”, where 4 Cheetahs are kept in a large enclosure which visitors can cross through a special corridor, the chimpanzees and gibbons section (March 2008) and finally the “Arid Lands” section hosting animals such as camels, Somali wild asses, etc. (April 2008). In addition, in May 2010, 2 white male rhinos were added to the Park’s “family” and in June 2010, 4 dolphins and 2 California sea lions became members of AZP’s family.

Future plans include the expansion of the facilities with “Dinosavropolis”, an Evolution Museum with an emphasis on the Age of the Dinosaurs, as well as “Oceanopolis”, an Aquarium of international stature. http://www.atticapark.com/

Planetarium: it is located in 307 Syngrou Avenue and it is one of the largest and the more advanced in the world. It offers a journey to the stars in a 280 person capacity projection hall with inclined seats. It also houses a modern conference centre and a scientific multimedia library. http://www.eugenfound.edu.gr/frontoffice/portal.asp?cpage=NODE&cnode=6&clang=1

National Garden: it is the biggest area of Green inside Athens, it is known as the Royal Garden because it was the garden of the palace of Othon. The palace is the todays parliament. It covers an area of 160.000 meters along with Zappeion mansion and it is surrounded by the Avenues Amalia, Vasilisis Sofias and Vasilisis Olgas, the parliament lies in its northwest corner as well as the monument of the Unknown Soldier. Inside the garden there is a botanic museum, busts,and decorative elements such as a ponds. It has a remarkable variety of plants from all continents. The garden is also a shelter for migrating birds. It is open until the sunset and it receives thousands of visitors daily, it should be mentioned though that the last years it looks a bit neglected.

Botanical Garden: it is the biggest botanical garden in the country and of east Mediterranean. It covers an area of 1,500,000 square meters in the area of Chaidari. The 200,000 meters are cultivated and the rest is natural vegetation. It opened in 1975 and it includes 2500 species of plants. Its aim is to preserve Greek flora and to support university teaching.

Kallimarmaro: it was built in the 4th century BC from Lykourgos and it was renovated in the 2nd century AD by Herod Atticus. It is used even today for athletic and cultural festivities. It was restored in the end of the 19th century at the expense of Georgios Averof the national benefactor. It was also used as the stadium of the 1st revived Olympic Games of modern times in 1896 AD, it was also used during the Olympics of 2004.

Lycabetus Hill: it is one of the most characteristic images of Athens, a steep rock that has a height of 277 meters. The church of St George is at its top. Many visitors climb there daily to enjoy a view of the city from above. In the summer a theatre is operating and the visitors multiply. There are asphalt roads and a parking outside the theater that facilitate access. In the south side of the hill a cable car goes to the top. There is an ancient quarry and a big tank that belonged to the Andrian aqueduct of the 2nd century AD.

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