The Athens University History Museum

Taking form in the 19th century, the historic district of Plaka was built on top of the ancient city of Athens. Part of its charm is an array of typical Athenian houses, stunning examples of neoclassical architecture, that somehow escaped the destructive claws of  mighty Urbanism. Some were carefully restored to their original splendour and converted to private museums, galleries and restaurants; others are private residences to those lucky few who need never worry about price tags; and there are those state-owned buildings, housing museums or departments of government bodies.


A short stroll upwards from the Tower of the Winds, facing the rock of Acropolis, our inner flâneurs brought us to Tholou Street. Housed in one such building, is The Athens University History Museum, aka ”The Old University”:

773px-Athens_University_Museumphoto of facade via



The Museum’s main aim is to collect and preserve the University’s legacy. Among its collections there are books like the first Greek scientific editions of Law, Physics, Medicine, Chemistry, Astronomy, History, Philosophy, Archaeology and Linguistics, as well as works of the first Professors of the University of Athens. Portraits of the University’s professors and benefactors and old photographs. Manuscripts and students diplomas and schedules, Resolutions and Seals. But my favourite is the Collection of Scientific Instruments from Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Pharmacy and Medicine.

Retro-futuristic equipment:



Even if you have no particular interest in the exhibits, a visit here is still worth your time and effort climbing the steep streets of Plaka. Enter through the small, inviting courtyard, complete with plants, flower pots and the occasional feline visitor, climb the wooden staircase, breath the historic splendor, wander into the large rooms with their wooden floors and large windows, then go through the doors to an open terrace and let the resplendent view sink in.

One one side, three historical generations, ancient, byzantine and modern:


On the other side, the urban jungle:


Entrance is free of charge.

Athens University History Museum
Tholou 5, Plaka, 105 56

Opening Hours

From 1st October to 31st May
Monday – Friday 09.30 – 14.30

From 1st June to 30th September
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 09.30 – 14.30
Monday & Wednesday 09.30 – 14.30 & 18.00 – 21.00

The Museum is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays, except the first and the last Sunday of each month when it is open to the public from 11.00 until 16.00.

Photos by Konstantinos Implikian

Athens 03-06 June 2013

… to be continued…


4 thoughts on “The Athens University History Museum

  1. Ah! the memories! If there’s one island a person should see, this has to be Anafi. But attention, you will not want to ever leave! Beauty and positive vibes guaranteed! And a lot of photos!

  2. Only 4 days ago I strolled with my baby to visit Anafiotika (a lovely place but a bit tiring with the stroller) and see Athens from above and on our way back we passed outside the old university. Never visited it, but hope I am given the chance in the fall! Thanks for the inside photos!

    • A quaint little museum with a grandiose view! We’ve been walking past it for ages.. Funny how some of us tend to get lazy where we live, then get all worked up when we travel. I live in Brussels for such a long time and there are areas I’ve never even set foot on (yet)…

      Must have been some workout, walking in Anafiotika with baby AND a stroller 🙂 Baby doesn’t know it yet, but she (I think it’s a girl, right?) will thank you one day…

      • Both kids are girls! She is too young to remember specifics, but I am counting on her remembering the experience. 😉 And I also took many photos to remind her! On our way down (alas) I found an easy road without too many steps. For the next visit! Plaka and especially Anafiotika is like visiting a Greek island (Anafi). A much needed change from my daily routine, sand I can’t visit any the Grecian islands!

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