Athens Holidays - National Library of Greece

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The National Library of Greece (Greek: Εθνική Βιβλιοθήκη) is situated near the center of city of Athens.
It was designed by the Danish architect Theophil Freiherr von Hansen, as part of his famous Trilogy
of neo-classical buildings including the Academy of Athens and the original building of the Athens University.

The original idea for establishing a National Library came from the philhellene Jacob Mayer, in an August 1824
article of his newspaper Greek Chronicles, published at Messolonghi, where Mayer had been struggling
alongside Lord Byron for Greece's independence. Mayer's idea was carried out in 1829 by the new Greek
government of John Kapodistrias, who grouped together the National Library with other intellectual institutions
such as schools, national museums, and printing houses. These were all placed in the Orphanage of Aegina,
under the supervision of Andreas Moustoksidis, who thus became president of the committee of the
Orphanage, director of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, and director of the National School.

At the end of 1830, the library, which Moustokaidis called the National Library, held 1,018 volumes of
printed books, which had been collected from Greeks and philhellenes. In 1834, the Library moved to
Athens, the new capital, and was at first temporarily housed in the public bath at the Roman Market and
then later in the Church of St. Eleftherios, next to the Cathedral and other important buildings.

The collection grew rapidly. In addition to the purchase of books from private libraries, carried out under the
supervision of Dimitris Postolakas (1,995 volumes), the Library accepted many large donations of books,
like one from Christoforos and Konstantinos Sakellarios (5,400 volumes) and one from Markos Renieris (3,401 volumes).

In 1842, the Public Library merged with the Athens University library (15,000 volumes), and was housed together
with the currency collection at the new building of Otto's University. George Kozakis-Typaldos was appointed
as the first director of the newly enlarged institution, remaining in his post until 1863. At this time, the Library
was enriched with significant donations and with rare foreign language books from all over Europe.
With the royal charter of 1866, the two libraries merged, and were administered as the "National Library of Greece".

On 16 March 1888 the foundation stone for a neoclassical marble building was laid, financed by three Kefallonian-born
brothers of the Diaspora, Panagis, Marinos and Andreas Vallianos. The Library remained in the University building
until 1903, when it was moved to the new building which was designed by Theophil Hansen and supervised by Ernst Ziller.

Today, the Library is still housed at the Vallianos building, as well as at two other buildings, at Agia Paraskevi
and Nea Halkidona. The valuable collections of their combined materials represent the written Greek cultural treasure.

(Information from Wekipedia)

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The National National Library of Greece, one of Theophil Hansen's "Trilogy" in central Athens.

Athens Holidays - University of Athens

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The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greek: Εθνικόν και Καποδιστριακόν Πανεπιστήμιον Αθηνών),
usually referred to simply as the University of Athens, is the oldest university in Southeast Europe[citation needed]
and has been in continuous operation since its establishment in 1837.
Today, it is the second-largest institution of higher learning in Greece, with more than fifty
thousand undergraduate students. In 2010, according to University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP),
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens is the best university in Greece and 171th university in the world.

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens was founded on May 3, 1837, and was housed in the
residence of architect Stamatis Kleanthes, on the north east side of the Acropolis. It was the first University
not only in the newly established Greek State but in all the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean in general.

Before it was renamed to honour Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first head of state of independent modern Greece,
the university was known as the Othonian University and consisted of four faculties; theology, law, medicine
and arts (which included applied sciences and mathematics). It had 33 professors, 52 students and 75 non-
matriculated “auditors”. In November 1841, classes began in a new building designed by the Danish architect
Christian Hansen. “The Propylaea” was designed by Hansen younger brother, Theophil Hansen in 1859 but
the building project was not completed until 1885.

A major change in the structure of the University came about in 1904, when the faculty of Arts was split into
two separate faculties: that of Arts and that of Sciences, the latter consisting of the departments of Physics
and Mathematics and the School of Pharmacy. In 1919, a department of chemistry was added, and in 1922
the School of Pharmacy was renamed a Department. A further change came about when the School of
Dentistry was added to the faculty of medicine.

In this first and “heroic” period for Greek education, the university faculty made great efforts to fill the gap
between their newly founded institution and older ones in other countries.

Between 1895 and 1911, an average of one thousand new students entered the faculties each year, a figure
which rose to two thousand at the end of World War I. This led to the decision to introduce entrance
examinations for all the faculties, beginning in the academic year 1927-28. Since 1954 the number of
students admitted each year has been fixed by the Ministry of Education and Religion, on the proposal of the faculties.

In the 1960s construction work began on the University Campus in the suburb of Ilissia.
The Ilissia campus now houses the Schools of Philosophy, Theology and Sciences.

(Information from Wekipedia)

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The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, one of Theophil Hansen's "Trilogy" in central Athens.

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