The Municipality of Athens presents to citizens and visitors the first modernized part of the National Park, with 11,155 new trees and plants that strengthen the “green lungs” in the heart of the capital.
The national park, one of the most beautiful attractions in Athens, is regaining its former glory. The municipal authorities, in a strategic plan that includes a complete refurbishment of the 154-acre historic city garden, are handing over to the Athenians the first completed section, located on the north side between Amalias and Vasilisis Sofias avenues.
From now on, residents and guests of the city can walk along the landscaped areas of the garden, sit on benches or read a book in the shade of trees. The territory of the park is also provided for physical education (jogging) and active games with children.
Largest National Garden Restoration Program Underway
Taking into account the history of the district, which turned 186 years old from the moment of its formation, paths and alleys were reconstructed. To do this, soil compaction is applied to repair the significant damage caused by time and erosion.
The work plan of the Municipality of Athens also includes the replacement of the old garden irrigation system with new, modern technology. It is worth noting that the irrigation system has remained almost the same since the middle of the 19th century, when the National Garden was created.
An equally important intervention is the modernization of the electric lighting network with the help of new technology lamps. The characteristic historic lantern columns have been preserved, and only replaced where deemed necessary.
On the basis of the project, in the coming weeks, municipal services will install modern lighting devices, as well as a “navigator” using signs (topographic maps of the park). The benches, which have retained their historical character and are in complete harmony with the environment, have been modernized.
The last stage of work includes the maintenance of the pond, the transformation of the main entrance, as well as the installation of metal trash cans and tidying up the extensive lawn.
Careful care of rare trees
Special care was taken by a team of specialized specialists to rare trees in the park, some of which are over 170 years old. Separate interventions were carried out on 16 specimens. At the same time, emphasis is placed on enriching the garden with new trees and plants to increase biodiversity and green the city. A total of 11,155 plantings were carried out, including 112 new trees, 331 shrubs, 2,343 additional green spaces, 3,582 perennial herbaceous plants – 4,775 seasonal and 12 climbing plants.
“The National Garden is one of the most emblematic meeting places for generations of Athenians. Taking care of these urban “green lungs”, the largest park in the center of Athens, could no longer be neglected. From the very beginning, we have given priority to its complete restoration, in order to create a welcoming space for residents and visitors of the city, Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis said in a statement. “With a new, state-of-the-art infrastructure that completely changes its look, with the planting of thousands of trees and plants, and with the introduction of modern technological interventions, we ensure that the National Garden will remain the “center of life” of Athenians and future generations for many years to come.”
Now that one part of the park has already been commissioned, work has begun on another area. According to the plan, the works are carried out in turn, so that the space remains open to citizens.
The total budget of the project is 4.2 million euros. This amount was provided by the European Fund (NSRF). Upon completion, the National Garden will be completely renovated.
The work program includes the restoration of historic buildings, the maintenance of marble and stone elements, the reconstruction of the playground, the restoration of the fence, the transformation of all pedestrian paths, the maintenance of ponds and the wooden bridge. It is planned to replace the fence where animals are kept in natural conditions.