location and history
The building that houses the Presidential Mansion was constructed in 1897. Until the last decades of the nineteenth century, the land on which it was built remained outside the limits of the city plan. The Old Royal Palace, which today houses the Greek Parliament, formed the eastern limit of the town, and beyond that were only fields and small farms. The only buildings found on maps of that period were the manor of the Duchess of Plaisance – known as “Ilissia” and currently housing the Byzantine Museum – and the Petraki Monastery, both built in the countryside and far from the center of the city. An orphanage for girls, which no longer exists, was also built in the area in 1854. Beyond those, the land along Kifissias Avenue, today called Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, remained unbuilt and was earmarked by the State for the construction of ministerial buildings.
In 1870, the State allowed the sale of land to private individuals, which led to the construction of mansions housing wealthy families of Athens. Around 1890, the architect Ernst Ziller was entrusted with the planning and construction of the Crown Prince’s Palace. The Palace later became the official residence of the Royal Family, and since 1974 it has been used as the Presidential Mansion.
Today, with the city of Athens spanning many square miles, the Presidential Mansion is located at the heart of the Greek capital, next to the National Garden and the Hellenic Parliament.
Herodou Attikou Street, where the Mansion is located, is considered one of the most beautiful streets of Athens. It is also inextricably linked to the political life of Greece, since the Mansion that houses the Office of the Prime Minister is also situated there.