The University of Athens forms part of the so-called "Neoclassical Trilogy" of the City of Athens: Academy - University - Library. It consists of a group of built masses that shape up a double "T", with two symmetrical courtyards. The facade is strictly symmetrical to the arcade of rectangular pillars, set-off by an Ionian-style entrance. The bases of the columns and the capitals of the entrance are perfect replicas of the equivalent found in the Propylaea of Acropolis. The building follows the basic aesthetic rules of early Neoclassicism, while at the same time is adapted to the Greek Mediterranean climate. The outside statues complete the entrance's composition, that is evidently distinguished to "base," body" and "crowning" parts.

It was built between 1839 and 1864, based on a study drawn by the Danish architect Cristian Hansen, who was also supervising the works in the beginning, to be followed afterwards by A. Theophilas and L. Kaftatzoglou. The wall-paintings on the facade were studied by the Bavarian painter Ral and executed by the Polish painter Lebietski. The construction expenses were carried out by King Otho, the sovereign of Serbia and Greeks from abroad.

By a ministerial decree of 1952, the building was identified as preserved monument "in need of special protection" according to the relevant 1950 Law.