The National Library of Greece
The imposing National Library is the easternmost of the three-building complex known as the Athenian Trilogy: the Library, the University of Athens, and the Academy. The Library was designed by Theophile Hansen, and financed by the Vallianos family, Greek businessmen of the diaspora.
Constructed with white Pentelic marble and adorned with Doric columns, the building also boasts a stunning, Renaissance-style twin staircase. The façade and vestibule are decorated with statues of the Vallianos family.
The Library was originally established by Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias on the island of Aegina in 1829. At the time, the library’s vast collections were housed in numerous buildings, including the small chapel of Agios Elefterios next to the Cathedral.
Ever more library holdings were kept in the University of Athens, the two collections finally being merged in 1866 and moved permanently to their current location in 1902.