Tatoi Palace – Acharnes, Greece - Atlas Obscura
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Acharnes, Greece

Tatoi Palace

The abandoned summer estate of the former Greek Royal Family. 

This sprawling 10,000-acre estate was the summer palace of the former Greek Royal Family. Now abandoned, its decaying buildings and dense woods are a haven for urban explorers.

In its prime, the estate was basically a mini village. Houses dotted the land, as did a winery, a butcher shop, and two churches. There was even a small archaeological museum built to house some of the findings from this long-lived in area.

But things weren’t always easy at this once-grand estate. Tatoi Palace’s recent history is as turbulent as the Greek government’s. During World War I, the main house was burned to the ground. About a decade later, George II of the Hellenes briefly lost control of much of the property, which his father had bought in the 1880s. And during World War II, while the King was in exile, the German occupiers felled most of the forest.

The estate continued to be passed from owner to owner even after the end of the Greek monarchy until 1994, when the Greek government (illegally) confiscated all former royal estates. There were plans to turn the place into a museum, but financial woes and political spats have kept that from happening.

Now, the gardens are long overgrown, their sculptures slowly succumbing to nature. The old buildings are falling apart. Some are now graffitied, while others are little more than crumbling skeletons of their former royal grandeur.

There’s also a royal cemetery to check out, where you can find the graves of George I of the Hellenes, George II of the Hellenes, and various princesses and duchesses.