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On April 27, 1872 Queen Olga became the High Patron of the "Ladies Society for Women's Education". The purpose of the Society was to carry out charitable, non-profit programs and to educate the nurses. The difficulties that the Society faced at that time were twofold: economic and social. They did not fit the stereotypical views of the era which took for granted that it was unacceptable for a woman to work and more so, to take care of men.

By putting the Society under her High Protection, Her Majesty "obliged" the Greek aristocracy and the wealthy Greeks of the diaspora to take part in the Society's work, and communicated its purpose to the public, overcoming the prejudices and doubts that prevailed. Before the Queen's patronage, the Society had a capital of 250 drachmas; six months later it amounted to 150,000 thousand gold drachmas.


One of Queen Olga's undertakings, within the context of the "Ladies Society" was the establishment of WORKSHOPS FOR UNDERPRIVILEGED WOMEN, where women who lacked the means to receive education were trained to weave. The Queen's aim was to consolidate the role of women in Greek society and to establish a Greek production (the workshop was supplied exclusively with Greek materials at the express command of the Queen). The opening of the workshop was held by Queen Olga and the dress she chose for the ceremony was made by the young weavers of the workshop.

Most of the Queen's clothes came from this workshop as well as from another one she founded at the women's prison. The Queen strived to bolster domestic production. Her dream was to make Greece self-sufficient and she promoted with great pride products created by Greek hands. In her words, "I want Greece to be sufficient in herself and not to carry in anything from abroad (cc)."


For the training of nurses, Queen Olga, used her own resources to found the "Educational Institute for Nurses" in 1875.

During the institution's operation, the need for a medical center in which the nurses could perfect their training and provide direct assistance to Athenians, arose.

In April 1876, the Archbishop of Athens, Procopius formed a committee in collaboration with Queen Olga, in an effort to find the necessary resources for the creation and the operation of the Hospital.

In 1881 a Royal decree was issued which authorized the establishment of the hospital, which was named "The Evagelismos" and placed it under the Queen's High Patronage. On March 25th of that year King George I laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Hospital in a modest ceremony.

Three years later to the day the Hospital's official inauguration took place, while on April 16, 1884 it was ready to offer its services to the public. On the first day of its operation the first patient walked in; the ten year old George Zizako, who after receiving treatment for 17 days, was cured.

The Hospital's contribution to the increasing needs in care and medical assistance for the residents of Athens and in treating the wounded soldiers from the Greco-Turkish war and the Balkan wars that followed, was significant. Queen Olga actively supervised all of the Hospital's operations. As an indication of Her work , in one of his letters the then British Ambassador to Greece Sir Horace Roumpolt, wrote that he was greatly impressed by the fact "... that the Queen visits "The Evagelismos" almost daily... ".

Evagelismos Hospital was one of the charitable undertakings which preoccupied Queen Olga the most throughout her lifetime. She was deeply involved in the daily workings and was concerned with its developments. While in exile, she often corresponded with her personal secretary, Ioulia Carolou, in order to be briefed on the developments of the Hospital and some of chronic patients who, because of her frequent visits, she personally knew.

To emphasize the Hospital's importance she included it in her will, which specified that it would be the duty of every Queen of the Hellenes to protect its operation and to ensure that it will continue its significant work.


Following the construction of Their Majesties' residence at the Tatoi estate, the Queen set up a clinic in a small room above the adjutants' office. This small clinic offered first aid to residents of nearby areas and was run by the Queen's personal doctor. Many a times the Queen served the clinic as a nurse, washing and disinfecting the wounds of villagers who went to the clinic seeking help.


erythros stavros"HELLENIC RED CROSS"

On June 10, 1877 Queen Olga founded the Greek Red Cross, which continues to operate until this day. Its goal is to aid and relieve disadvantaged groups and people in need.

The support provided by the Hellenic Red Cross during the ensuing war was very important indeed. Its main contribution however was to be the relief of Asia Minor refugees.




Queen Olga purchased a building in Piraeus in 1897 with her personal funds and with the financial assistance, of her cousin, the Tsar, in order to strengthen relations between Greece and Russia and in order to promote the common elements of the two countries.

The building was renovated and restructured, and in 1902 the "Russian Hospital of Piraeus" was inaugurated by the Greek Royal Family. A church of Saint Olga was built within the hospital in honor of the Queen.

Its purpose was to care for Russian sailors and local residents, free of charge.

Indicative of the services offered was that during the period of 1902-1923, 5,399 patients were hospitalized while 924,091 were treated during the same period.

On November 9, 1925 and while the Greek Royal Family was in exile, a governmental decree was issued by which the hospital was converted into a medical institution for the Greek Navy. It operated regularly until 1981 when due to earthquake damages, its function was inhibited. The Naval Hospital reopened in 2000 following repair of the damage.