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We aim to create a closer dialogue between members and representatives of the Russian Diaspora and to promote Greek-Russian cultural & historical heritage links. We intend to organise educational lectures, tours, voluntary works & publications in media to encourage bonds between Russian immigrants local Greek communities. These will concentrate on language skills, Russian & Greek culture, traditions and history.

Excursion to Tatoi lead by the Union of Russian Immigrants in Greece

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 images-stories-greece-0612-getimage21-200x149Last Sunday, students of the childrens studio Olga and their parents, along with participants of the program Club 50+, created in the context of the EU project Steps Towards Active European Citizenship visited Tatoi, the former residence of the Greek royal family.



The excursion was organized by the Union of Russian Immigrants in Greece Demidova. The history of the royal palace is closely related to the destiny of Olga Konstantinovna Romanova, queen of Greece for 45 years. The details of the intricate relationship between Queen Olga and others with this place were narrated by the president of the Union, Irina Zhalnina-Vasilikioti.

The royal palace in Tatoi was built in the 1880s and designed by the architect Savvas Bookis, as commissioned by George I. The residential complex included two churches (one dedicated to Prophet Ilias,1873, and one to the Resurrection of Jesus, 1899), court service buildings, a telegraph, a wine and a milk factory and three stables. In the park stands the statue the Tzars Falconer, by Eugene Lanceray.
In 1915, three years after the founder of the Tatoi King George I, a big part of the buildings were destroyed by fire. The following era of political instability did not provide a chance for the palaces recovery, and only in the 1930s the architects Anastasios Metaxas and Konstantinos Sakellarios went through with a reconstruction of the palace.

Tatoi is a significant place for the rulers of Greece: its where King George II was born; its where King Paul I spent his last days; its where a pet monkey bit King Alexander I, who died a little later as a result of a blood infection.

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The first grave in the Tatoi complex appeared in 1880: King Georges young daughter was buried in the palace park. Among those buried in the royal cemetery are all the Greek kings of the Glucksburg dynasty--including George I, Constantin I, Alexander I, George II and Paul I--and a number of members of the Russian imperial family--Queen Olga Konstantinovna, Princess Elena Vladimirovna, Princess Alexandra Georgievna (her remains were brought from the USSR to greece in 1939).

Burials in the royal cemetery in Tatoi continued even after the abolition of monarchy in Greece. In 1981, Frederica of Hanover, the wife consort of King Paul was buried there, and in the 1990s and 2000s two Greek princesses, the daughters of Alexander I and Constantin I were buried.

The Tatoi palace was visited by the successor to the Crown Prince future Russian emperor Nikolai II, Austrian Empress Elizabeth, King Edward VII, Queen Elizabeth II and Jacqueline Kennedy . During both World Wars the palace was place to a series of important government talks and many a governments of Greece took their oaths there, including the government of Eleftherios Venizelos, Dimitrios Rallis and George Papandreou Sr.
After the exile of the royal family from Greece in the 1960s, Tatoi became abandoned. Former King Constantine II in an effort to return the palace to his family, filed a lawsuit to the European Court of Justice, but was awarded with just a small compensation.
In 2007 the Greek government announced a plan to create a museum in the abandoned palace. With the efforts of the Union of Russian Immigrants in Greece, the memories of this place will now also belong to a few generations of Russians who live in Greece, including the students of the studio Olga, named after the great Queen Olga Konstantinovna Romanova. To strengthen the bonds between the three generation that were with us that day, we also organized a picnic and the young students read poems of A.S. Pushkin, whose birthday was celebrated the day before by all the Russian-speaking world.

Contact details:

Kannigos 19 1st floor
10667 Athens, Greece
Tel: +302103839459
Fax: +302103839459
www.soruem.gr