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National Garden is a marvelous park, open to the public from sunrise to sunset, located in the heart of Athens, just behind the Greek Parliament. What were once, the Old Palace and the Royal Garden, the getaway of Queen Amalia and King Otto, is now a delightful, shady refuge for Athenians and visitors during the hot summer months.
Initially, the Gardens reserved more than 500 different species of plants and presented diversity in animals, yet the Mediterranean climate allowed some of them to survive and blossom, in the Athenian environment.
You can enter the Garden from 4 different gates with the main entrance situated in Amalias Avenue, the second and the third found in Vassilissis Olgas str. and Herod Atticus str., and the last on the south connecting the National Park with the famous landmark of Zappeion.
In 1888, Zappeion, the first building specifically erected for the modern Olympic games opened the doors. Designed by the Danish architect Theopill Hansen and funded by Zappas family, the Hall has hosted a number of historical events during modern times. Nowadays, Zappeion operates as an exhibition and conferences center and a beautiful landmark of the city, fulfilling the donor's initial will.
If you care for a quick escape in the middle of the buzzing city center, get yourself in the peaceful stretch of green of the National Garden, walk towards Zappeion and tick two important Athenian landmarks with a single "stone".