Visiting Pyrgos Vasilissis, the Queen's Tower in Athens

Queen Amalia Tower

Independent, adventurous, and nature-loving, Queen Amalia liked to explore Athens on horseback. During one of her promenades, she came upon a fertile valley of the Kifissos River, which enchanted her.

Visiting Pyrgos Vasilissis

She bought it in 1838 from two Englishmen who had already planted fruit trees and a vineyard, with the vision of creating a model agricultural unit with modern farming methods.

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Visiting Pyrgos Vasilissis

 The Queen’s Tower, or Pyrgos Vasilissis as it is known today, is located in the unremarkable neighbourhood of Ilion. Visitors to this lush spot are always awestruck by the enchanting change of scene from urban Athens. The 30-hectare land includes manicured gardens, romantic-style fountains, statues, flowers of all varieties, a vineyard that produces top-quality organic wine, stables, and farmed land, including olive groves and fruit trees.

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Although such abundant natural beauty is a feast for the eyes in itself, the jewel of the crown is Queen Amalia and King Otto’s summer villa; the Gothic-style building that looks like a fairytale castle was inspired by the Hohenschwangau Castle in Otto’s native Bavaria and designed by French architect Francois-Louis-Florimond Boulanger. It has ramparts, arched windows and doorways, and polygonal towers. Its interiors are exquisitely decorated, with magnificent ceiling art in every room and unique marquetry on the floors, as well as elegant furnishings also designed by Boulanger.

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Queen's Tower in Athens

Shoes come off in the reception hall to preserve the stunning handmade parquet floor in a particularly impressive recently renovated room. The beautiful ceiling art and vibrant silk blue walls are embellished with resplendent gold details.

*Watch a video tour of the Queen's Tower here- 

Amalia’s act of setting up a sophisticated and well-run farm created an ecological legacy that continues to be honoured today. The estate's owners welcome visitors for a tour of the tower and grounds and organise wine tastings, while the Organisation Earth NGO has also been set up there, running educational workshops via their Earth Centre.

 A: Dimokratias Ave 67, Ilion, 13122. +30 210 2313 607.


Alexia Amvrazi

Alexia Amvrazi enjoys the thrill of discovering beauty in the world around her. With a passionately hands-on approach to Greece's travel, gastronomy, holistic living, culture, innovation and creativity, for 20 years she has explored and shared her findings with the world on all aspects of the country and its people via writing, radio, blogs and videos. Although her childhood and early youth in Italy, Egypt and England left her feeling somewhat root-less, she is by now firmly connected to her native land, bravely weathering the hurricane known as the Greek crisis!

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