NEWS

Gates to presidential gardens thrown open

Athenians were able to enjoy for the first time yesterday free and unfettered access to the gardens of the Presidential Mansion as part of an initiative by President Karolos Papoulias that will lead to the 2.5-hectare site being open to the public every Sunday. Hundreds of people took the opportunity to walk through the gardens, which had until now only been used for occasional functions organized by the president. Papoulias has said that the gardens, adjacent to the 19th-century building designed by Ernst Ziller where the president’s office is located, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Sunday apart from public holidays. The gardens contain more than 140 types of plants, trees and bushes. Some of the trees are more than 100 years old.