Founded in 1842, it was the first scientific research institute built after Greece became independent in 1829.It was also the first scientific research institute in Balcans. It was financed in large part by the benefactor and diplomat Baron George Sinas. Astronomical observations began in September 1847, under the direction of George Vouris, its first director.
In 1890 the Observatory was reorganized as a governmental research center with the name National Observatory of Athens, and was expanded with the addition to the Astronomical Department of two new, the Meteorological and the Seismological. In 1942 the Departments were redenominated as Institutes, and in 1955 the Ionosphere Institute, was added. #observatory