The Academy of Athens was founded with the Constitutional Decree of March 18th 1926, as an Academy of Sciences, Humanities and Fine Arts.
The main building of the Academy is a neoclassical building between Panepistimiou Street and Akadimias Street in the centre of Athens. The building was designed as part of an architectural "trilogy" in 1859 by the Danish architect Theophil Hansen, along with the University and the National Library. Funds had been provided by the magnate Simon Sinas specifically for the purpose, and the foundation stone was laid on 2 August 1859.
Before Akademia was a school, it contained a sacred grove of olive trees dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom, outside the city walls of ancient Athens. The archaic name for the site was Hekademia, which by classical times evolved into Akademia and was explained, at least as early as the beginning of the 6th century BC, by linking it to an Athenian hero, a legendary "Akademos". The site of Akademia was sacred to Athena and other immortals.
The work and the positions of the Academy of Athens continue to have an impact on Greek society. This is clear from the donations and bequests made by both individuals and bodies; their management allows the Academy to continue to serve its purpose: supporting scientific research, financing publications, granting scholarships and awarding prizes.