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Tatoi, located 5 km north of Athens's suburbs, and 27 km from the Athenian Acropolis was the summer palace and 10,000 acre estate of the former Greek Royal Family, and the birthplace of George II of the Hellenes. The area is a densely wooded southeast-facing slope of Mount Parnitha, and its ancient and current official name is Decelea.

Development of the Estate

The Greek Royal Family obtained the estate during the 1870s. In 1916, during World War I, the house was burned down, possibly at the instigation of the Greek secret police; Queen Sophia being a sister of the Kaiser, the Greek royal family was suspected of being pro-German.[1] (See National Schism).

In the 1920s most of the estate became public property, but in 1936 it was returned to the Royal Family.

During the Second World War, when King George II was in exile and Greeks suffered considerable hardships under German occupation, the woods at Tatoi were chopped down for fuel and corpses were buried in shallow graves. [2]

The Greek Royal Family regained possession of the estate in 1946, until forced to relinquish it after the referendum of 1973.[3]

Ownership dispute

The confiscation of the estate and of other property of the deposed and exiled King, Constantine II, without any compensation, led to a court case in the European Court of Human Rights. The king's argument centered on the claim that the property in question was acquired by his predecessors by legal means and was therefore subject to regular personal inheritance. The Greek state argued that the property was either used by the royal family by virtue of its sovereign status or obtained by taking advantage of that status, and therefore, once the monarchy was abolished, the property should revert to public ownership automatically. The Court struck a midway course in reaching its verdict and ordered the Hellenic Republic to pay the exiled king compensation, of a small fraction of less than 1% of its worth, while allowing the Greek state to retain ownership of the property.


In June 2007, the Greek Government said it intended to turn the former palace and grounds into a museum.[4]

However it was reported in September 2012 that the Government now intended to sell the palace and its estate in the face of mounting financial pressure.[5]

Buried at Tatoi

Tatoi Royal Cemetery is located on the south end of the estate is large wooded area.

Buried in the Tatoi Royal Cemetery are:

  1. Princess Olga of Greece and Russia (March 26, 1880 – 21 October 1880)
  2. Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark, Grand Duchess of Russia (August 30, 1870 – September 24, 1891) - (wife of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia)
  3. George I, King of the Hellenes (December 24, 1845 – March 18, 1913)
  4. Alexander I, King of the Hellenes (August 1, 1893 – October 25, 1920)
  5. Constantine I, King of the Hellenes (August 2, 1868 – February 6, 1923)
  6. Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia, Queen of the Hellenes (September 3, 1851 – June 18, 1926) - (wife of George I, King of the Hellenes)
  7. Princess Sophia of Prussia, Queen of the Hellenes (June 14, 1870 – January 13, 1932) - (wife of Constantine I, King of the Hellenes)
  8. Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark (January 22, 1872 – February 8, 1938)
  9. Prince Christopher of Greece and Denmark (August 10, 1888 – January 21, 1940)
  10. Princess Maria of Greece and Denmark, Grand Duchess of Russia (March 3, 1876 – December 14, 1940) - (wife of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia)
  11. Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark (January 20, 1882 – December 3, 1944)
  12. George II, King of the Hellenes (July 19, 1890 – April 1, 1947)
  13. Princess Françoise of Orléans (December 25, 1902 – February 25, 1953) - (wife of Prince Christopher of Greece and Denmark)
  14. Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia (January 17, 1882 – March 13, 1957) - (wife of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark)
  15. Prince George of Greece and Denmark (June 24, 1869 – November 25, 1957)
  16. Princess Marie Bonaparte (July 2, 1882 – September 21, 1962) - (wife of Prince George of Greece and Denmark)
  17. Paul I, King of the Hellenes (December 14, 1901 – March 6, 1964)
  18. Aspasia Manos, Princess of Greece and Denmark (September 4, 1896 – August 7, 1972) - (wife of Alexander I, King of the Hellenes)
  19. Princess Frederica of Hanover, Queen of the Hellenes (April 18, 1917 – February 6, 1981) - (wife of Paul I, King of the Hellenes)
  20. Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark, Lady Brandram (May 4, 1913 – October 2, 2007)

A masoleum was built to house the bodies of King Constantine I, Queen Sophie and King Alexander I. The remaining members are buried in tombs with crosses near the Royal Chapel.

Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark, Queen of Yugoslavia (March 25, 1921 – January 30, 1993) was buried here from 1993 until 2013, when her remains were exhumed and returned to Serbia, where they were reburied at Oplenac on 26 May 2013.


Climate data for Tatoi, 235 m asl (1958-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 11.7
Average low °C (°F) 3.2
Precipitation mm (inches) 69.2
Source: Hellenic National Meteorological Service[6]

European Temperature Record

Tatoi along with Elefsina currently hold the record for the highest ever recorded temperature in Europe according to WMO, with 48.0°C, based on measurements made by the use of minimum/maximum thermometers.[7]



External links

  • Tatoi Palace Picture Gallery by photographer Christos Gorezis

Coordinates: 38°09′45.83″N 23°47′37.28″E / 38.1627306°N 23.7936889°E / 38.1627306; 23.7936889

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