Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center - Arts & More
- by XpatAthens
- Thursday, 01 September 2016
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is no doubt an imposing addition to the capital. From a certain angle on the busy Sygrou avenue, the center appears like a massive gleaming silver and glass paneled box was dropped onto the southern Athens skyline.
Such a project could only be possible with a sizeable investment, exactly €596 million. The grant was offered by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the largest donation in recent Greek history. It was also one the most generous single donations worldwide in the art and culture realm.
We first walked through the grounds, a man made 170,000 m2 lush, green park complete with performance fields, playgrounds, impressive gardens and an outdoor café. As part of the project, a public athletic park was also built with a track and swimming pool. It is open to the public for use.
The playground also hit the senses. An unsuspecting piece of art made sounds to represent the Greek sea, for example. I stomped on some wooden planks set in the ground that chimed gleefully, so did some unsuspecting metal squares nearby.
The park is now one of the city’s largest green public spaces.
No matter where we stood, there was a view of either the city, including Lycabettus Hill and the Acropolis, or out to the sea.
Thanks to the design of the complex, built on the artificial hill, Kallithea (a quiet residential neighborhood) has bragging rights to one of nicest views in town. Kallithea actually means good view, in Greek. However, a view like this certainly didn’t exist before.
Tips for Visiting the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
- You can’t buy opera tickets just yet. Both the opera and the library are in moving stages and those buildings of the arts complex are set to officially open in 2017.
- You can visit the rest. The beautiful park is great for a stroll and is quite close to the Flisvos Marina, another very scenic and walkable area of southern Athens.
- While at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, also visit the Agora, an outdoor space that connects the opera and the library. In the Agora lobby, there is an impressive gallery featuring notable Greek artists (most recently Panagiotis Tetsis).
- The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center Visitors Center also hosts programming for adults and children.
- Opening hours are from Monday to Sunday from 09:00 till 22:00.
- Admission is free
To read this article in full, please visit: My Greece My Travels
For more information about the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, visit: SNFCC website