Ancient Agora, Athens
Ancient Agora. We made the tour around the Agora and saw the splendid temple of Hephaestus (construction started in 449 BC). Afterwards we visited the Stoa of Attalos, reconstructed by the Americans in the 1950s, with funding donated by the Rockefeller family (Wikipedia). Very excited to see the pot sherds here, these were used in ancient times by the Athenians when they exercised their right to ban politicians who had gained a bad reputation (or people they just wanted to get rid off, for whatever reason). Names would be written on these so called 'ostraka', and the person or persons whose names appeared the most would be summoned to leave the town. Hence the origin of the word 'ostracized' that lives on until today in such modern expressions as "... I'm ostracized for having a tongue piercing".
The entrance of this sights are included in the 12euros entrance fee for the Acropolis.In greek language ΑΓΟΡΑ(AGORA)=Market(english).But this place doesn't mean a market.Ancient Agora is the place where the ancient greeks plead or to discuss a matter for all the community this is derives from the verb word ΑΡΟΡΕΥΩ(AGOREVO)=I plead.
Located below the Acropolis, the Agora was a meeting and trading place, temples and a lot of public buildings were built. The site was vandalized several times,especially by the Romans in 84 BC and the Heruli in 267 after JC and finally abandoned towards the end of the VI century.
By visiting the Agora, you can admire the Hephaisteion or Theseion ( the temple of Hephaestus) probably the best-preserved ancient Greek temple.
The museum of the Agora is located in the Stoa of Attalos ( a king of Pergamon) the building destroyed by the Heruli in 267 after JC was in the 1950s fully reconstructed.
Time for the visit of the Agora: 2/3 hours
Ticket: price included in the Acropolis ticket
The Agora used to be the centre of ond Athina: it was a large square where people would meet and assemble. The reasons were several and different: it could be a market, an election, a performance, a religious fstival, a competitions os some sort, or even a military drill. Any sort of sctivity, indeed, could take palce there.
All around the square, public buildings would be found - basically those necessary to run the city: for example the council chamber, the magistrates’ offices, the mint, and the archives and so on. Anbd - of course - shops! the decline of the Agora started after the Slavic invasion in A.D. 580, when the site was gradually abandoned.
Great parts of it have been brought back to light, but excavations are still going on and there's really a lot to visit in the area. Information about opening times and admission can be found in the website listed below.
There are only three more or less complete large structures in the Agora. At the west edge of the Agora stands the Temple of Hephaestus built between 449-44 BC. Along the eastern side is the Stoa of Attalos from the 2C BC, very damaged and rebuilt between 1953-56. The third structure is the Horologium or Tower of the Winds standing further northwest at the edge of the adjacent Roman Agora.
The Ancient Agora in Athens is the city's most popular agora.
In addition to being a place where people gathered to buy and sell all kinds of commodities, it was also a place where people assembled to discuss all kinds of topics: business, politics, current events, or the nature of the universe and the divine.Here, where ancient Greek democracy came to life, you get a wonderful opportunity to have an idea of the commercial, political, religious, and cultural life of one of the great cities of the ancient world.
Metro stop: monastiraki.
This is the old market place that dates back to the city -state time of Athens. This area was the heart of civic life in ancient Athens and dates back to 6th century BC. The site is large and has many ruins and a museum on the site. The best preserved of which is the temple of Hephaistos.
The Agora was very important to ancient Greek society as public life was concentrated here. It was shaded with poplar, willows and planetrees and ornamented with fountains, temples, alters, and statues. Merchants and vendors sold all matter of items available to the ancient Greeks. Bankers and money lenders spread their tables and opened for business.
Pay special attention to the Temple of Hephastius (or Theseium), which is the best preserved temple in all of Greece and is not always mentioned.
This is another site (like the Acropolis) with several elements to it. The area was the ancient marketplace, and was founded in the 6th century BC. It continued for 1,200 years!
It is where democracy began - Socrates addressing the public. It is where Christianity came to Greece - St Paul preached here and started converting.
The Agora Museum is part of the Agora site, and your ticket for the site give you entry to the museum. It is a reconstruction of the Stoa of Attalos - a 2nd century BC shopping mall. Cool.
The Temple of Hephaestus is the best preserved building on the site, and in fact the best preserved classical temple on mainland Greece.
Entry is €4, or as part of the €12 Acropolis ticket.
This is one of the best preserved agoras in whole Greece. It can be dated back 3000 BC. The agora in Athens had private housing, until it was reorganized by Peisistratus in the 6th century BC. Although he may have lived on the agora himself, he removed the other houses, closed wells, and made it the centre of Athenian government. It was the heart of Athens and the center of the Greek cultural, political, social, economic and administrative life.
The Ancient Agora is considered a must do in all the travel books I read.... my question to the authors is why ??? The place is a park with two major orginal buildings, the other one a nice redone building. The admission price is also included with the Acropolis ticket, but it's free on Sunday's from November to April. If you visit it by yourself it's 4 Euro's to get in.
We spent about 1 hour and saw eveything in a non rushed way.
The Roman Forum is much smaller than the ancient agora, but still worth visiting.
You enter the site through the Gate of Athena Archegetis, and then wander through the remains of the agora (marketplace) to the rather beautiful Tower of the Winds (seeseparate tip) at the far end . There are columns and floors and steps to see, piles of carved stones at the sides..........and an ancient public toilet (the Romans were good at those).
there is a modern public toilet on the site too, which is good.
Clearly much more remains to be excavated on this site which is, in truth, badly signed and seems somewhat neglected. However, it is worth the 2 euro to get in, if only to get close to the Tower of the Winds.
The ancient Agora is a huge site, and its excavated remains can seem quite confusing at first glance.
But the Temple of Hephaistos is superbly-preseerved (because it was used as a church and, later, a museum), the Odeon of Agrippa/'Palace of the Giants' still giving an impression of its enormous and imposing presence, the stoes (shopping parades) making it clear how busy a place this once was.
Climb up to the Temple and you will find a plan to help you make sense of what you can see.
I liked this place. It was large enough not to feel crowded, green and shady in Spring and still had some sense of what once was. Worth exploring.
A 'stoa' was really a shopping mall, some having two stories, full of shops and stalls for purchases and refreshments.
The Stoa of Attalos is within the ancient Agora complex, and has been fully reconstructed. This took place in the mid-1950s and, although I am not in favour of such reconstruction, there is no doubt that it is accurate and impressive.
Inside the Stoa is a rather good, although quite small, museum displaying some of the numerous artefacts found during site excavations. It really is worth visiting the Agora for this alone: its size is manageable, and its contents fascinating. On the second floor are displays about the site excavations and plans, photos and models of the reconstruction.
There are public toilets in the Stoa too, which is good.
This is one of my favorite areas around the Acropolis to visit for the mere fact its less crowded and alway is lush and green. The ruins are laid out before as you will walk the paths around the site and with the Acropolis as a backdrop it serves as a great place to relax and get away from the crowds. The highlight of this area is of course the Temple of Hephaestus which sits up on a hill and reminded me of a mini Parthenon. Its surrounded by trees and gardens and the best part is that there are sweeping views of the entire site as well as the Acropolis and with your back to the modern city of Athens you might even feel as though you have gone back in time. Entrance is included in the Acropolis admission ticket and the hours of operation are the same as well.