The historic main building of the University of Athens is located on Panepistimiou Street (Greek for University Street) just a few blocks north of Syntagma Square with the Greek Parliament. On the left we see the National Library of Greece, on the right the Athens Academy, together they form the architectural “Athenian Neoclassical Trilogy”.
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Today the exact name of the University is the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greek: Εθνικό και Καποδιστριακό Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών). It was founded in 1837 by King Otto of Greece. The main building of the university was constructed between 1839 and 1864 and designed by the Danish architects and brothers Theophil Hansen and Hans Christian Hansen. The front wing of the building, also known as Propylaea, was completed in 1843. The coffered ceiling and the frescoes designed by Carl Rahl and executed by Eduard Lebiedzki are striking. In front of it there are statues on the left and right side representing national hero Rigas Feraios and Patriarch Gregory V.
Originally the entire university was housed in the building, today it serves as a ceremony hall and rectory. Panepistimiou Street was formally renamed Eleftherios Venizelos Avenue in 1945, but remains commonly refered to by its historical name.