Tatoi Palace


Tatoi (Greek: Τατόι, pronounced [ta.ˈto.i]) was the summer palace and 42 km2 (10,000 acres) estate of the former Greek Royal Family. The area is a densely wooded southeast-facing slope of Mount Parnitha, and its ancient and current official name is Dekeleia. It is located 27 km (17 mi) from the city centre of Athens.

Partial view of the abandoned Tatoi Palace.

Development of the estate and ownership disputes


King's Forest.

George I of the Hellenes obtained the estate during the 1880s, purchasing it with private funds he had brought from Denmark. In 1916, during World War I, the house was burned down.

In the 1920s, most of the estate was stolen from its owners, but in 1936 it was returned to George II of the Hellenes.

During the Second World War, when the king 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.[1]

King George II regained possession of the estate in 1946. It passed down as private property to Constantine II of the Hellenes until 1994, when the royal estates were confiscated by the government of Andreas Papandreou.[2] Constantine took the matter to the European Court of Human Rights, who ruled in his favour in 2003. They were not able to force the return of the estates, but they were able to legally force the government to pay him €12m in compensation; this amounted to only one percent of its real worth. The government paid his compensation from the Greek Natural Disasters fund trying to embarrass Constantine by claiming by paying out money to him he was harming the Greek people in need. Constantine used the funds to set up the "Anna Maria Foundation" to provide grants to needy Greeks in time of hardship caused by natural disasters. The fund is named after former Queen Anne-Marie.

Prospects


In June 2007, the Government of Greece said it intended to turn the former palace and grounds into a museum.[3]

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.[4]

Founded in 2012, the "Friends of Tatoi Association" has set itself the goal to restore the former royal estate and convert it to a museum and public venue, while facing political indifference and lack of money.[5]

In 2015 ten cars which were kept in the former royal estate of Tatoi, were designated as cultural monuments by the Central Council for Modern Monuments (ΚΣΝΜ). However, the cars, as well as the carriages (which were not included in the decision) remained in the ruins, with parts of the roof falling on the cars in 2016.[6] However, as of 2020, the cars and carriages have now been removed and restored as part of greater restoration efforts by the Greek government.[7][8]

For several years, the Greek government had no planned efforts for preservation of the Tatoi Palace, neighbouring buildings and the natural area around the Tatoi, and the estate suffered from extensive age and weather damage. The Greek state had renamed the area as metropolitan area.[clarification needed] A political idea to convert the former royal estate to a private winery or a resort with restaurants and barbecue was met with criticism by private persons and organisations, who feared it could erase the historical elements of the property, and who preferred to open Tatoi as a museum for the public.[9][10][11] The former royal estate of Polydendri is also completely abandoned, and the buildings are in a state of decay.[12]

In late 2019, the Greek culture ministry moved ahead with plans to finally restore the palace.[13] After approximately a year of conservation work had been undertaken, the Greek government announced that the estate would become a mixed-use development after the completion of restoration. Plans are centered on the conversion of the main house into a museum of the royal family, as well as the construction of a new luxury hotel and spa.[14]

Buried at Tatoi


Tombs of Constantine I, Sophia of Prussia and Alexander

Tatoi Royal Cemetery is a private cemetery located on the south end of the estate in a large wooded area.

Buried in the Tatoi Royal Cemetery are:

  1. Olga of Greece (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 of Greece (December 24, 1845 March 18, 1913)
  4. Alexander I of Greece (August 1, 1893 October 25, 1920)
  5. Constantine I of Greece (August 2, 1868 January 11, 1923)
  6. Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia, Queen of the Hellenes (September 3, 1851 June 18, 1926) - (wife of George I of Greece)
  7. Princess Sophia of Prussia, Queen of the Hellenes (June 14, 1870 January 13, 1932) - (wife of Constantine I of Greece)
  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) (father of The Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II)
  12. George II of Greece (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 of Greece (December 14, 1901 March 6, 1964)
  18. Aspasia Manos, Princess of Greece and Denmark (September 4, 1896 August 7, 1972) - (wife of Alexander of the Hellenes)
  19. Princess Frederica of Hanover, Queen of the Hellenes (April 18, 1917 February 6, 1981) - (wife of Paul of Greece)
  20. Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark, Lady Katherine Brandram - wife of Richard Brandram (May 4, 1913 October 2, 2007)

A mausoleum was built to house the bodies of King Konstantínos I, Queen Sophie and King Aléxandros. 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


Tatoi has a mediterranean climate (Csa) with hot summers and cool winters.

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
(53.1)
12.5
(54.5)
14.7
(58.5)
19.3
(66.7)
24.9
(76.8)
29.9
(85.8)
32.1
(89.8)
31.8
(89.2)
28.0
(82.4)
22.5
(72.5)
17.4
(63.3)
13.2
(55.8)
21.5
(70.7)
Average low °C (°F) 3.2
(37.8)
3.5
(38.3)
4.9
(40.8)
7.7
(45.9)
11.9
(53.4)
16.2
(61.2)
19.2
(66.6)
19.3
(66.7)
15.6
(60.1)
11.8
(53.2)
7.9
(46.2)
4.9
(40.8)
10.5
(50.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 69.2
(2.72)
48.6
(1.91)
51.1
(2.01)
26.2
(1.03)
20.4
(0.80)
9.8
(0.39)
10.0
(0.39)
6.0
(0.24)
17.6
(0.69)
47.6
(1.87)
60.2
(2.37)
83.9
(3.30)
450.6
(17.72)
Source: Hellenic National Meteorological Service[15]

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.[16]

See also


References


  1. Van der Kiste, John (1994). Kings of the Hellenes. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton Publishing. p. 173. ISBN 0-7509-0525-5.
  2. "Tatoi Palace". Parnitha National Park.
  3. Grohmann, Karolos (12 July 2007). "Greece to turn its last royal palace into museum". Reuters.
  4. Matthew, Sparkes (19 September 2012). "Greece sells off London consulate and royal cemetery". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  5. "Tatoi Friends Association" (in Greek).
  6. "Δέκα βασιλικά αυτοκίνητα στο Τατόι κηρύχθηκαν μνημεία από το ΚΣΝΜ" [Ten royal cars in Tatoi were declared monuments by the CCMM] (in Greek). 11 December 2016.
  7. Chrysopoulos, Phillip (August 4, 2020). "Greece Restores Fleet of Vehicles Belonging to Former Royal Family". GreekReporter.com. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  8. Karavasili, Paulina (January 9, 2021). "New exhibition for royal carriages as former Tatoi Royal Estate begins renovations". GreekCityTimes.com. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  9. "Λεηλασία, ασυδοσία, κλοπές κι εγκατάλειψη. Το Τατόι αναστενάζει..." [Robbery, lewdness, theft and abandonment. Tatoi sighs ...] (in Greek). 10 December 2016.
  10. "Τατόι: "Κίνδυνος μετατροπής του σε ένα απέραντο καφενείο"" [Tatoi: "Risk of turning it into a vast cafe"] (in Greek). 10 December 2016.
  11. "Οι τελευταίες μέρες του πρώην Βασιλικού Κτήματος στο Τατόι" [The last days of the former royal estate at Tatoi] (in Greek). 10 December 2016.
  12. "Το εγκαταλελειμμένο πρώην Βασιλικό Κτήμα στο Πολυδένδρι Λάρισας" [The abandoned former royal estate in Polydendri, Larissa] (in Greek). 10 December 2016.
  13. "Plans to refurbish former royal estate". I Kathimerini. September 4, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  14. Wichmann, Anna (January 26, 2021). "Greece to Turn Former Royal Palace into Museum, Luxury Hotel". GreekReporter.com. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  15. "Climatological Information for Tatoi, Greece". Hellenic National Meteorological Service. Archived from the original on 20 September 2016.
  16. "Europe Highest Temperature". Arizona State University, World Meteorological Organization.

Bibliography