Greek National Library

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Εθνική Βιβλιοθήκη της Ελλάδος
Ethnikí Vivliothíki tis Elládos
The former main library building
The former main library building

founding 1832
Duration Books , journals , newspapers , magazines , multimedia and manuscripts
place Athens Coordinates: 37 ° 58 ′ 52 "  N , 23 ° 43 ′ 59"  EWorld icon
management Fillipos Tsimpoglou
(Φίλιππος Τσιμπόγλουv)

The National Library of Greece ( Greek Εθνική Βιβλιοθήκη ) is located in the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Kallithea near Athens . Until 2016, it was located in a building designed by Danish architect Theophil Freiherr von Hansen as part of his Athens trilogy of classicist buildings including the Athens Academy and the original Athens University building in Athens city center.


The original idea of ​​a national library in Greece came from the philhellenic Johann Jakob Meyer . In an article in his newspaper Greek Chronicles (published in Messolonghi ) in August 1824, he fought with Lord Byron for Greek independence . Mayer's idea was implemented by the Greek government in 1829 through Ioannis Kapodistrias when he ordered the establishment of the national library alongside other educational institutions such as schools and museums. Initially, the library was temporarily housed in the orphanage on the island of Aegina, which, as an educational institution, was under the same department. Georgios Gennadios tried to build up the stock. At the end of 1830 the total stock was 1018 books. The move to Athens followed in 1834.

The library was founded as an institution in 1834, it was spread over different locations until the building was completed, at which time the inventory had reached the 1995 books, Christoforos and Konstantinos Sakellarios donated a further 5400 books and Markos Renieris 3401 books. In 1842 the inventory was around 15,000 books. It was located in the university building until 1903 when the move to the building donated by Panayis Vagliano took place. From 1877 to 1910 the classical philologist Michael Deffner was director of the library. The statue of Panayis Vagliano , a patron of the library, designed by Georgios Bonanos , stands in front of the former library building.

In June 2016 the National Library moved into the building of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Kallithea, which was planned by Renzo Piano since 2006 . The National Opera of Greece is also housed there.


The library has 4,500 Greek manuscripts, making it one of the largest collections of Greek scripts. They also keep a lot of cops and an archive of the Greek Revolution .

The library collection contains a codex of the four Gospels assigned to the scribe Matthew, an Uncial manuscript with a fragment of the Gospel of Matthew from the 6th century ( Uncial 094 ), the Flora Graeca Sibthorpiana by the English botanist John Sibthorp , the Rigas' Chart from Rigas Velestinlis ; The Great Dictionary of Etymology , a Byzantine Historical Dictionary, and the first editions of Homer's Epias and Poems.

Some other manuscripts in this collection are Unzial 075 , Unzial 0161 and Minuskel 798 .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Sarah Cascone: See the Opening of the Long-Awaited Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center on, June 24, 2016. Accessed June 27, 2016.
  2. English description of some items in the collection
  3. ^ Treasures - National Library of Greece. The European Library , accessed January 1, 2011 .