This impressive three-storey structure on Panepistimiou Street, also known as the ‘Schliemann Mansion’, was built between 1878 and 1880 for distinguished German businessman and amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, who excavated ancient Troy and Mycenae.
When built, it was thought to be the most expensive private residence in the city, as well as being one of the finest examples of Ziller’s work. While applying architectural principles from the Italian Renaissance, such as the use of consecutive arches on the façade, Ziller did not turn his back on Athenian neoclassicism, and included such elements as friezes, corbels and jambs.
In 1927 the mansion became property of the Hellenic State, housing public services, including the Supreme Court from 1934 to 1982 (which gave the building its new name, Areopagus). Prior to World War II, the statues on the façade were removed, due to the possibility of collapse. In the 1980s, based on a study by architects Ersi Michailidou-Philippopoulos, Moschoula Chryssoulaki and Vassilis Handakas, a first attempt at restoration was made in order to establish a permanent home for the Numismatic Museum.
The building was finally restored before the Athens Olympic Games.