Photo of the week: the seat of the European Presidency

Dear friends, I apologize for being absent for so long. Among other things, I have yet to recover from the surprise of seeing Greece, the pariah of Europe, being raised to the very top of the European Union.

For six months, beginning on January 1st, 2014, the presidency of the European Union is going to reside in this magnificent 19th century building called the Zappeion. For security reasons, it will be inaccessible to the general public until June 30th, which is a shame, as it is a beautiful sample of neo-classical architecture.

I’m burning to tell you more about Zappeion, especially its well-hidden secret, but I’m afraid that will have to wait for another post.

Zappeion building façade, Athens, Greece.

Interior of Zappeion, Athens, Greece

Zappeion’s interior: a circular collonade surrounds the central atrium, allowing natural light into the building. Notice the fluted ionic columns on the ground floor, corresponding to pillars with busts of caryatids on the floor above. Also worth noticing are the ornate ceilings, the Pompeii-like color scheme and torch-like light fixtures, all in the best neo-classical tradition.

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