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The Botanical Museum is an Institution, part of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, supervised by the Department of Biology. It is managed by the respective Director as well as by a three-member Advisory Committee. The Botanical Museum of the University of Athens, was founded with the Government Gazette 31 (July 5, 1868), when the botanical collections became independent from the Physiographic Museum, which hosted the botanical, zoological and mineralogical collections of the University of Athens since 1850.

Aims of the Botanical Museum

The Botanical Museum aims to provide education an awareness and perform research on issues related to the plant world, and the environment in general. It hosts a collection of dried plant specimens of important historical and scientific value. The collection is open to the international scientific community for any kind of non-destructive study. It is also used for the research and teaching requirements of the Department of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and is displayed to visitors of all ages. The purpose is to familiarize the public with the research practices used in the Botanical Museums and Herbariums internationally and also stress the important evidence that the plant collections provide on the flora, vegetation, climate, habitats, and human presence in Greece, from the independence of the modern Greek state till today.

The permanent "Exhibition of the Attica Landscape and Environment" offers visitors an overview of the course of Attica landscape in the long run, with a significant range of data. It starts from the ancient geological eras to reach the current residential and technological reality, offering different aspects of the abiotic parameters and the living organisms in the environment of Attica.

The two small presentation rooms of the Botanical Museum are used for hosting lectures and screening of films on Botany and the environment. The Museum's publications on the natural environment are available to visitors as easy-to-use guidebooks.


Historical background

Since its founding in 1868, the Botanical Museum has housed botanical collections, some of which date back to the founding of the Greek state or earlier.

The first director appointed of the Botanical Museum was Th. Orphanides, Professor of Botany, who was succeeded by Th. Afentoulis (1882) and then by S. Miliarakis (1893). Professor I. Politis was appointed director in 1918. He was involved in the relocation of the collections from the ground floor of the Law School to the first floor of the Chemistry Department. Politis also established the first collections of thallophytes and algae. From the year 1957 until today, the directors of the Botanical Museum have been Ch. Diapoulis (1957-1968), K. Mitrakos (1968-1969), K. Anagnostidis (1969-1992) and A. Economou-Amilli (1992- 2014). Till July 2021, M. Arianoutsou-Faragitaki served as the Museum’s director.

During the 1965-1982 period the collections of the Museum were housed in the building of the current Student Dormitory of the University Campus. Following the completion of the new buildings of the School of Physics and Mathematics, the Botanical Museum was permanently re-located in a specially designed space on the ground floor of the Department of Biology. In 1983, the scientific and technical staff of the Museum joined the Section of Ecology and Systematics, Department of Biology. From 2004 the Museum was staffed with two curators, who served until 2014. Since then, the Botanical Museum remains without any supporting staff.

The Botanical Museum is internationally known by the ATHU abbreviation.


Target groups of the Botanical Museum

The Museum serves the teaching and research activities of the Department of Biology members (teaching staff and students). Its botanical collections are available to the entire academic and research community worldwide.

The premises of the Museum are visited mainly by students of primary and secondary education, with their supervisors. Furthermore, the Botanical Museum is addressed to any group, regardless of age, interested in its botanical scientific evidence but also for a tour of the permanent "Exhibition of Attica Landscape and Environment".


Important holdings of the Botanical Museum

The exact number of botanical specimens hosted in the Museum collections is unknown. It is estimated that approximately 80,000 specimens are arranged in two major categories: the historical herbarium (from the founding of the Botanical Museum until about 1940-45) and the modern herbarium with collections that continue to be enriched. The modern collections have been registered and are supported by a specially designed database.

Among the historical collections of the Museum the dried plant specimens collected by T. von Heldreich, T.G. Orphanides and B. Tuntas stand out.

The Museum is rich in type-specimens, i.e., vouchers officially related to published scientific names of plant organisms.


Permanent "Attica Landscape and Environment Exhibition"

Since November 1997, the Botanical Museum houses an exhibition entitled "Attica Landscape and Environment". This exhibition includes part of relevant material previously housed in the Piraeus Port Authority premises. The material of the exhibition is either photographic, or in the form of a model. It guides the visitor to the natural environment of Attica, from the old geological eras to the beginning of the 21st century.


Opening hours of the Botanical Museum

The lack of permanent staff in the Museum does not allow the Museum to operate on a daily basis. However, visiting the Museum is possible through a scheduled appointment.


Communication and contact details

Postal address: Botanical Museum of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Department of Biology, Panepistimiopolis, 157 72 Zografou, Greece.

For visiting appointments, interested parties should contact the Director of the Museum via e-mail address: constgr[at]biol.uoa[dot]gr or by phone: +30 210 7274 258.

The Museum is located on the ground floor of the Department of Biology. To enter the Museum either the main entrance of the Department of Biology or the entrance of the School of Sciences can be used.


Director of the Botanical Museum

Theophanis Constantinidis, Associate Professor.


Advisory Committee

 Not yet available.