The original part of the Observatory was designed by the famous Dane Architect Theophilus Hansen and was the first research Institution built in Greece (1842) after its deliberation from the Ottoman Empire. The Hill of the Nymphs was selected as the place to built the Observatory, a Hill famous from antiquity, where the Nymphs were worshipped and next to one of the famous Observatories of the 5th century, where Meto’s Heliotropion was placed. The Hill of the Nymphs is aligned with one of the most celebrated and best preserved meteorological / astronomical Observatories, the Tower of the Winds, which is also the emblem of the Royal Meteorological Society and a rough copy of which was built at the University of Oxford. The new Observatory on top of the Hill of the Nymphs is a landmark in Athens, facing the Parthenon and has long been used by Greek and foreign Astronomers as the basis for astronomical, meteorological, geoastrophysical measurements and observations in its 160 years history. Today the buildings include an Astrogeophysics Museum and it also houses clocks, telescopes and other instrument of the 19th century and an extensive 19 century astrogeophysics library. The National Observatory, Athens is operating today five Research Institutes and provides the facilities for graduate student training in collaboration with Greek and foreign Universities. It hosts the UNESCO Chair for Natural Disasters and operates the National Seismological Network and it is participating in the OPTICON and other international research networks, hosting the Greek Focal Point on the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS).
Interested visitors to that site can visit the individual Institutes sites clicking on the tabs below: