The National Library of Greece (Greek: Εθνική Βιβλιοθήκη) is situated near the center of city of Athens. It was designed by the Danish architect Theophil Freiherr von Hansen, as part of his famous Trilogy of neo-classical buildings including the Academy of Athens and the original building of the Athens University. It was founded by Ioannis Kapodistrias.
The library has 4,500 Greek manuscripts which is one of the greatest collection of Greek scripts. There are also many chrysobulls and archives of the Greek Revolution. Among the library's holdings are a codex of the four Gospels attributed to the scribe Matthew; uncial codex with a fragment Gospel of Matthew from 6th century (Uncial 094), Flora Graeca Sibthorpiana by English botanist John Sibthorp; Rigas' Chart by Rigas Velestinlis; The Large Etymological Dictionary, a historic Byzantine dictionary; and the first publication of Homer's epics and hymns. Some other manuscripts: Uncial 075, Uncial 0161, Minuscule 798.
Planned Relocation to Phaleron Bay:
The present building has long been inconvenient due to limited space and technology demands. Although the Vallianos building will continue to house some of its current functions, the bulk of the library will be relocated to a new 22,000-square meter building at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center on the Phaleron Bay "Delta". The 20-hectare Delta is a seafront area that used to host the Athens horse race track, which was replaced by the Markopoulo Olympic Equestrian Centre for the Athens 2004 Olympics.
Italian architect Renzo Piano proposed a radical new plan for the National Library and the National Opera of Greece, and the project will be funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and donated to the Greek state. The twin buildings will be integrated within a landscaped park with indigenous Mediterranean flora, and will feature extensive renewable energy facilities and a central plaza around a 30-m wide seawater channel. Work on the project started in 2012 with completion due for 2016.