Tatoi Palace

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Tatoi (Greek: Τατόι, pronounced [ta.ˈto.i]) was the summer palace and 10,000 acre estate of the former Greek Royal Family, and the birthplace of King George II of Greece. 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 from the city centre of Athens,

Development of the Estate and ownership disputes[edit]

Partial view of the abandoned Tatoi Palace.
King's Forest.

King George I of the Hellenes obtained the estate during the 1870s purchasing it with private funds he had brought from Denmark. 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 was stolen from its owners, but in 1936 it was returned to King George II.

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]

King George II regained possession of the estate in 1946. It passed down as private property to King Constantine until 1994 when the royal estates were confiscated by the government of Andreas Papandreou.[3] King 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 per cent 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 outwitted the government by setting up the "Anna Maria Foundation" to provide grants to needy Greeks in time of hardship caused by natural disasters. The fund is named after Queen Anne-Marie.

Prospects[edit]

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]

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.[6]

In 2015 ten cars which are kept in the former royal estate of Tatoi, were designated as cultural monuments by the Central Council for Modern Monuments of Greece (ΚΣΝΜ). However the cars and also the carriages (which are not included in this decision) remain in the ruins. In the year 2016 some parts of the roofs have fallen on the cars.[7]

Currently the Greek Government has planned no efforts for preservation of the Tatoi Palace, neighbouring buildings and the natural area around the Tatoi. Theft, vandalism and illegal water abstraction occur almost every month, as political corruption allows this. In the case of a fire, the buildings, the flora and the fauna would be completely defenseless. Damage caused by time and weather are extensive. The security service has been abolished. In a case of antiroyal Historical revisionism respectively Pseudohistory the Greek state has renamed the area as Metropolitan area. A political idea to convert the former royal estate to a private winery or a resort with restaurants and barbecue could erase the important history from this important part of the modern Greek history. Nevertheless this proposal was criticised by private persons and organisations, who would like to open Tatoi as a museum for the public.[8][9][10] The former royal estate of Polydendri is also completely abandoned, the buildings decay.[11]

Buried at Tatoi[edit]

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. Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark (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) (father of Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth ll)
  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 mausoleum 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[edit]

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)
10.51
(50.92)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 69.2
(2.724)
48.6
(1.913)
51.1
(2.012)
26.2
(1.031)
20.4
(0.803)
9.8
(0.386)
10.0
(0.394)
6.0
(0.236)
17.6
(0.693)
47.6
(1.874)
60.2
(2.37)
83.9
(3.303)
450.6
(17.739)
Source: Hellenic National Meteorological Service[12]

European Temperature Record[edit]

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.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

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