National Garden, Athens
The National Garden was originally laid out by Queen Amalia, wife of King Otto, and together with the adjoining Záppion garden it was the only large open space in Athens until the area extending from the Agora to the Hill of the Muses was laid out as a park in quite recent years.To the south of the National Garden are the gardens around the Záppion, an exhibition hall with a Corinthian portico and a semicircular colonnade to the rear built by Ernst Ziller for the Zappas brothers.The National Garden is located to the East of the Plaka area and North-East of the Parliament Building.
Opening hours: 7:30am-3pm
Transit: Bus station: Zappion; Trolleybus: 2, 4, 11, 12 (Olgas).
The ancient Stadion was rebuilt in 1896 for the first modern Olympic Games. It can seat 60,000 people.
The original temple at Olympieion was built prior to 550 B.C. Plans to erect a larger temple here took about 700 years to complete, but this much larger and grander Temple of Zeus was completed around A.D.130.
Ste Photina's Church
This little church stands to the east of the Olympieion on the busy Leofóros Ardíttous, a modern traffic artery whose construction destroyed the former idyllic charm of the area.The River Ilissos, now a canal, used to flow here and here, too, was Kallirhoe, the "pleasantly flowing" spring. The spot on the banks of the Ilissos where Socrates liked to talk with his pupils in the shadow of a plane-tree (Plato's "Phaedrus") was either here, according to Rodenwaldt, or farther northeast, outside the Stadion, according to Travlos.The church, which is of little architectural interest, is built over the foundations of a temple of Hekate.
New Palace (Presidential Residence)
The New Palace, on the east side of the National Garden, was built in 1890-98 by Ernst Ziller (who also designed Schliemann's house and other buildings in Athens) as the Crown Prince's Palace. It became the royal palace in 1935 after the restoration of the monarchy, and since 1974, when Greece became a Republic, it has been the official residence of the President.In front of the palace Evzones in their traditional costumes mount guard.
The Philatelic Museum in Athens features displays of postboxes, safes, postal stamping machines, stamps, postal telegraph and telephone services, as well as other postal paraphernalia.
Zappeion Exhibition and Congress Hall (Zappio, Zapio)
The Zapio sitting in the Middle of the National Gardens near the Athens Stadium incorporates the finest elements of neoclassical architecture.