I often passed by the black gate at 2 Vasileos Georgiou B Avenue without knowing what was hiding behind it. And it never occurred to me that I would finally cross it on a Sunday morning, as the President of the Hellenic Republic opened the gates of the former Royal Palace, now housing the Greek Parliament, to the public, creating a unique opportunity to experience the history and ambience of bygone eras. The extremely polite staff welcomes you and gently takes you through the control process. Then, you are automatically transferred to the royal Greece of King Constantine I and begin to take in the atmosphere of the Palace, as if you were surrounded by courtiers, and experience the melancholic glam and the echo of a bygone aristocratic era. Nothing will interrupt your relaxation in the former vegetable garden of the Royal Palace that Ernst Ziller transformed into a decorative garden in 1897 when Herod Atticus Street was also constructed.
In this garden that forms an oasis of peace and silence, you will find symmetrical grass lawns, islets with seasonal plants and an impressive marble staircase. Perennial plane trees, such as lindens, palms and cypresses, as well as 140 different species of shrubs and climbing plants, all well cared for, watered and pruned, and a long path flanked by high cypresses that leads to a pond and a pavilion. Among the trees, there are works of art. An unexpected outdoor sculpture gallery, featuring works by Natalia Mela, Giorgos Zongolopoulos, Kostas Varotsos, Theodoros Papagiannis and Yannis Pappas, that are discreetly incorporated into the landscape, emerging in front of you as if they had always been there. You can take your book with you, sit in the outdoor lounges and do a Zen meditation or come along with your children who will be delighted with the whole scenery. In any case, silence and beauty will accompany your every step of the way as, no matter how many are the visitors, everyone speaks in a low voice and moves discreetly, as if the space itself imposes another culture, a bygone nobility.
The garden of the Presidential Mansion is open to the public every Sunday, from 10.00 to 16.00
2 Vasileos Georgiou B’ Avenue