Academy of Athens (Akadimía Athinón)
Together with the National Library and the University of Athens, the Academy of Athens is one of the three buildings designed by Danish architects Theophil and Christian Hansen that make up one of the city’s architectural highlights. Many Athens city tours on foot, bike, tuk-tuk, or car stop at the Academy to admire its marble facade, known for its ornamental colonnaded portico topped with sculptures representing the birth of Athena and flanked by statues of Athena and Apollo. The interior of the building is closed to the public, but visitors can marvel at the exterior work of 19th-century sculptor Leonidas Drossis, who also created the facade’s likenesses of Plato and Socrates.
Things to know before you go
- A stop to take in the elegant neoclassical Athenian Trilogy is a must for architecture enthusiasts and photographers.
- In addition to the Academy of Athens, be sure to visit the nearby University of Athens and National Library buildings, also designed by the Hansen brothers.
- If joining a walking, biking, or other outdoor tour, be sure to choose comfortable shoes and protect yourself from the Mediterranean sun with sunscreen and a hat.
- The building can be approached with a wheelchair along Panepistimiou Avenue; the interior is not open to the public.
How to get there
You can reach the Academy of Athens building on Panepistimiou Avenue (also called Eleftheriou Venizelou Avenue) via the Panepistimio metro station on line M2 from locations across central Athens. Alternatively, join a guided walking, bike, Segway, or Trikke tour of the city’s highlights that stops at the Athenian Trilogy to visit without the hassle of public transportation.
When to get there
The Academy of Athens is only open to members, so visitors are limited to admiring the architecture from outside the building. Occasionally, special events and conferences are open to the public, offering a rare glimpse of the famed marble assembly hall, decorated with murals of the Prometheus legend by German artist Christian Griepenkerl. For the best photos of the facade, time your visit for the early morning or late afternoon.
Three Neoclassical Gems
One of the most famous architectural landmarks in Athens is the trio of neoclassical buildings known as the Athenian Trilogy, formed by the Academy of Athens, University of Athens, and National Library of Greece. Set on busy Panepistimiou Street, these three 19th-century masterpieces were created by the Danish Hansen brothers and are considered among the top examples of the neoclassical style in the world.
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- University of Athens
- National Library of Greece (Ethnikí Vivliothíki tis Elládos)
- National History Museum (Ethnikó Istorikó Mouseío)
- Numismatic Museum of Athens
- Ghika Gallery (Pinakothiki Ghika)
- Syntagma Station
- Syntagma Square (Plateia Syntagmatos)
- Kolonaki Square (Plateia Kolonaki)
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Mnemeíon Agnostou Stratiotou)
- Parliament Building (Vouli)
- Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens (Mitropoli)
- Church of Panagia Kapnikarea
- Kotzia Square (Plateia Kotzia)
- Benaki Museum
- Omonoia Square (Plateia Omonoias)