3 Cheers for Summer in Greece – part 2

A City Oasis in the National Gardens of Athens

A City Oasis in the National Gardens of Athens

Dreaming Of A Place

A good place for a morning walk is the National Gardens.  The gardens are cool and relaxing and there is a wonderful little outdoor cafe where you can enjoy a slowly brewed Greek coffee. The “park” experience is heightened if you have your children with you since they will enjoy a duck pond, a playground, a mini zoo and just walking a playing through the verdant maze. Mommy and Daddy will enjoy this cool oasis in the middle of Athens and may even take turns reading on a park bench while the other watches the children.

A Garden of Pure Delight

A Garden of Pure Delight

A Garden of Pure Delight

This peaceful green refuge made up of 15.5 hectares in the center of the Greek capital once belonged to the royal family of Greece and was known as the royal garden. The park is located directly behind the Greek Parliament building, which used to be the royal palace, and continues to the south to the area where the Zappeion is located, across from the Panathenaiko or Kalimarmaro Olympic Stadium of the 1896 Olympic Games.

An Angel In Athens

An Angel In Athens

Don’t Worry – You Won’t Miss the Ancient Ruins in the Park

Ancient Greek History can be found almost everywhere in Athens and especially in the historic center. The National Gardens are no exception as they house some ancient ruins, tambours and Corinthian capitals of columns, some mosaics and many statues carved by famous Greek artists. On the south-east side there are the busts of Capodistrias, first Governor of Greece and of the great Philhellene Eynard and on the south side the bust of the celebrated Greek poets Dionysios Solomos the author of the Greek National Hymn, and Aristotelis Valaoritis. And here is a little bit of trivia that you may not have known; the National Gardens were designed by Queen Amalia of Greece.

Henry Miller wrote in 1939 “It remains in my memory like no other park I have known. It is the quintessence of a park, the thing one feels sometimes in looking at a canvas or dreaming of a place one would like to be in and never finds.”

The Athens Gardens Festival in the Greek National Gardens

The Athens Gardens Festival in the Greek National Gardens

If you are planning on being in Athens within the next week then here is an added advantage of visiting the National Gardens (orEthnikos Kipos in Greek) in central Athens.  From June 15 to the 18, in the afternoon hours of the day (when it is cooler and the sunlight is subdued) the National Gardens will host the Athens Gardens Festival and will be transformed into a “garden of the arts”, complete with live music, interactive art displays and mime and visual performances which will entertain young and old. And the best part – admission is free.

The festival is held by the Athenian artistic network in collaboration with the City of Athens and supported by various organizations.

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