It is a historical truth that Aristotle’s disciple Theophrastus, who is considered the founder of the botanical science, established in Athens, at the 4th century B.C., the first botanic garden ever.
The first botanic garden of the modern Hellenic history was founded by professor Fraas of the University of Athens, in an area of Athens called ”Botanikos” ever since. A small part of this garden is still preserved in the same area. A few kilometers westward, the most substantial Botanic Garden, not only of Greece but also of the east Mediterranean, is now in operation: the “Botanic Garden of Julia and Alexander Diomedes”.
Alexander Diomedes entailed part of his fortune to the University of Athens with the purpose of establishing an institution, which was legally founded in 1952. Yet Diomedes’ dream started being materialized only in 1961 when the Ministry of Agriculture granted a large forest area and the configuration works, based on the blueprints of Professor H. Hammerbacher of the University of Berlin, started. In 1975, a major part of the works, finished and the gates of the garden opened to the public.
Since then many other works have taken place and the whole image of the garden has changed. The garden currently has many new sections, a network of paved paths and roads, administration buildings, laboratories, shelters for the employees and workers, the residence of the keeper, fire-towers, playgrounds, greenhouses and many other minor constructions.
We should emphasize that the area was granted to the institute under the strict condition that the impact of landscape shaping on the natural ecosystem should be kept to minimum. This is the main reason why the garden area with its cultivated plants is perfectly matched with the natural ecosystem making this garden a globally unique case.
- Vehicles (bikes, bicycles etc.) and pets are prohibited in the garden area
- Any collection of plants or animals of any kind is also strictly prohibited.
- The use of balls for playing any kind of game is strictly prohibited.
- An adult person should accompany children below 14 years of age.
- Misplacing or damaging the Garden signs or the tags identifying the plant species, besides the inconvenience it causes to the visitors, is extremely costly for the Garden and troublesome to the maintenance personnel.
- Please use the roads or the marked paths of the Garden for your walk.
- Children wondering round the pools must be under close surveillance.
- Please use the waste-bins. Keep the Garden clean.