While walking amidst the bustling streets of Athens’ modern neighbourhoods, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the traffic and noise or distracted by the stores’ flamboyant windows and, hence, miss some of the city’s most precious gems. But if, when ambling down Panepistimiou Str., a stroller cranes to look a bit higher than eye-level, she will discover the arched verandas with the Ionic colonnades and painted ceilings that decorate the façade of one of Athens’ most beautiful 19th-century mansions: “Iliou Melathron”.
The name translates into “The Palace of Ilion” – “Ilion” being the pre-classical name of the city of Troy in Asia Minor. Although today the building acts as Athens’ Numismatic Museum hosting one of the most interesting collections of coins in the world, it was originally built at the end of the 19th century by the German architect Ernst Ziller to house the family of another German, Heinrich Schliemann. [Read more…]