King Otto’s first palace
Athens, Greece | historical, museum | free
Discover the exhibits and interesting stories about Greece’s first royal couple, Otto and Amalia, Athens’ largest oil painting and how it saved the Parthenon, and the history of the carnival in Greece.
Our Museum presents the modern history of Athens, Europe’s oldest and most famous city, since it became the capital of the newly founded Hellenic State in 1834 under the first royal couple, Otto and Amalia.
are included in this tour
for you to discover
ΤΗΕ PORTRAIT BUST OF KING OTTO, ENRICO FRANZONI, 1852
The First King of Greece
Otto Friedrich Ludwig von Wittelsbach (1815-1867) was the son of King Ludwig I of Bavaria of the House of Wittelsbacher and Queen Therese of Bavaria. He reigned in Greece from 1833 until his exile in 1862. He married Amalia of Oldenburg shortly after reaching his majority, in 1835. As King he chose Athens to become his nation’s capital and transformed it from a small village into a European city! He died from a streptococcal infection in Bamber, Bavaria, in 1867.
PORTRAIT OF QUEEN AMALIA, SPIRIDON HATZIGIANNOPOULOS, 1855
Amalia Maria Frederica (1818-1875) was Princess of Schleswig-Holstein-Glücksburg-Sonerburg, the eldest daughter of Paul Friedrich Augustus, Grand Duke of Oldenburg and Duchess Adhelheid, of the Swedish House of Vasa. In 1835, she married King Otto in Oldenburg, Bavaria and lived in Greece as Queen for 27 years. As a Queen, Amalia filled Athens with beautiful gardens and set up many institutions to benefit her citizens’ welfare. She died from bronchitis in Bamberg, Bavaria in 1875 at the age of 57.
ATHENS OF 1674, JACQUES CARREY, 1674
The Painter who Saved the Parthenon
One of the Museum’s most important exhibits is the canvas titled ‘The Athens of 1674’ by Jacques Carrey. It depicts the visit of François Olier, marquis de Nointel, ambassador of Louis XIV of France to Constantinople, to Athens. He was accompanied by the painter Jacques Carrey, who managed to sketch the Parthenon’s sculptural decoration with great accuracy in fifteen days. Today, these sketches are the only evidence available of the original form of the Parthenon and have greatly assisted archaeologists in the accurate restoration of its sculptures following the damage caused by Morosini (1687) and Lord Elgin (1801-1805).