The National Library

The imposing building of the National Library is the easternmost of the three-building complex known as the Athenian Trilogy. Built in the 19th century to house the National Library, the University of Athens, and the Academy, the Library was designed by the famous architect, Theophil von Hansen, and financed by the Vallianos family, Greek businessmen of the diaspora. Constructed with white Pentelic marble, and enhanced by Doric columns, the building also boasts a stunning, renaissance-style, twin staircase.

The facade and vestibule are decorated with statues of the Vallianos family. It is worth noting that the National Library of Greece was originally established by Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias on the island of Aegina in 1829. At the time, the library’s vast collections were housed in numerous buildings, one of which was the small chapel of Agios Elefterios next the Cathedral. Subsequently, even more library materials were housed in the University of Athens, the two collections finally being merged in 1866, and moved permanently to its current location in 1902.

Source: www.athensattica.gr

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