The French School at Athens (French: École Française d'Athènes (EfA); Greek: Γαλλική Σχολή Αθηνών) is one of the 17 foreign archaeological institutes operating in Athens, Greece.
Founded in 1846, the EfA is not only the oldest foreign institute in Athens, but also the first French academic institution abroad. Its early foundation, still source of considerable prestige, is to be seen culturally connected with French philhellenism
and politically with the French East Mediterranean strategy of the time.
It operates an active programme of research in all fields of Greek studies, but primarily in archaeology
and Classical Studies
. The EfA conducts an extensive programme of scholarships and bursaries. Its library holds 80,000 volumes, 550,000 photographs and 35,000 maps.
Unlike most of the other Foreign Institutes, the EfA does have a status more akin to a graduate (university) school than a mere research institute. Some of its sought-after scholarships are renewable for periods up to four years, providing students with the opportunity to conduct most or all of their PhD research in Athens.
In the 161 years since its foundation, the EFA has been involved in many important archaeological projects in Greece, including the excavations
, Dikili Tash
(both Greek Macedonia
), as well as Amathontos
Many important French archaeologists, classicists and epigraphers throughout a century and a half have been members of the EfA. Some examples are listed.
- G. Radet, L'histoire et l'œuvre de l'École française d'Athènes (History and the Works of École française d'Athènes), Paris, 1901.
- R. Étienne et al., L'Espace grec. Cent cinquante ans de fouilles de l'École française d'Athènes (Greek Space, A Hundred and Fifty Years of Excavation of the École française d'Athènes), Fayard, 1996.
- E. Korka et al. (eds.): Foreign Archaeological Schools in Greece - 160 Years, Athens, Hellenic Ministry of Culture, 2006, p. 64-73.