Ancient Agora, Athens
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. He also built a drainage system, mountains and a temple to the Olympian gods. Cimon later improved the agora by constructing new buildings and planting trees. In the 5th century BC there were temples constructed to Hephaestus, Zeus and Apollo
The only standing Byzantine monument in the Agora is the Church of the Holy Apostles (XI century)
The Ancient Agora of Athens was the centre of the religious, commercial and public life of the city. Originally it was an open space, which was flanked gradually by public buildings and commercial arcades, temples and altars dedicated to the gods, as well as statues of prominent citizens and foreign benefactors. One of the most outstanding edifices in the Agora is the Stoa of Attalos, which was built in about 150 BC through the donation of Attalus II, king of Pergamon. In the 1950s the Stoa was reconstructed by the American School of Classical Studies and today it houses the Museum of the Ancient 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.
Just below Acropolis, Ancient Agora was the central place and market of the ancient city, the place where daily life was happening. In our days you wont see Socrates among the people that walk up and down but visitors of the museum that is there (interesting, don’t miss it too).
Pisistratos built set in the area a lot of new building like fountains, a temple etc and at the same time he removed some houses to Agora to be the centre of the government. Later, at Agora almost every public meeting was taking place here, social and cultural activities and also the law courts, religious manifestations etc
At the easter edge of Agora you can see Stoa of Attalus built by King Attalus II the king of Pergamon. Part of the building was used for stores those times. Like many other building around its also made of Pentelic marble and it is 115m wide and 20m deep. Doric order was used at the exterior colonmade while Ionic at the interior one (typical combination those times).
What you can see now is the reconstruction of the stoa made in the 50s and turned the stoa into Ancient Agora Museum. In fact the building it’s a replica of the original stoa. And please, don’t try to put your head on the headless statues to have a funny photo! The guards will run after you anyway… :)
While visiting the Ancient Agora it is important to visit the superb museum. Located in the reconstructed Stoa of Attalus II, it houses a strong collection of artifacts that have been found on the Agora itself. The original building was built in the 2nd century B.C. It sort of a market where merchants sold food stuffs. Eventually the Stoa became the centre of political and intellectual life in Athens.
The museum is open when the rest of the Agora is. Entrance is included with the price of admission to the Agora.
The agora in Athens again became a residential area during Roman and Byzantine times.
You may find here the following sights:
Peristylar Court, Mint, Enneacrounos, South stoa, Heliaea, Strategeion, Colonos Agoraios, Tholos, Agora stone, Monument of the Eponymous Heroes, Metroon (Old Bouleuterion), New Bouleuterion, Temple of Hephaestus (Hephaestion), Temple of Apollo Patroos, Stoa of Zeus, Altar of the Twelve Gods, Stoa Basileios (Royal stoa), Temple of Aphrodite Urania, Stoa of Hermes, Stoa poikile.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Athens on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 58' 20.25" N 23º 43' 34.14" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Ancient Agora .
The Temple of Hephaestus ('Theseion') is very well-preserved externally. Its construction considered to begin in 449 BC. It was converted into a church by the Byzantine Greeks. The plan has a distinctive arrangement the east porch being aligned with the third columns on the flanks. As in the Parthenon over the porch the Doric frieze is replaced by a continuous Ionic frieze.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Athens on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 58' 20.25" N 23º 43' 34.14" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Naos Hefaistou .
Athough not a photogenic as The Acropolis, the Ancient Agora still holds many treasures to see. From the Temple of Haephastus which I wrote about in a previous tip to these large statues of Giants and Tritons the Ancient Agora has much to be seen. These statues are part of The Odeion of Agrippa. The statues date to the year 150 A.D. The second picture here is a long shot of the Ancient Agora.
The Ancient Agora was originally a market place and also the political and administrative center of Ancient Athens. many social, commercial, and religious events took place here.
The admission ticket to The Parthenon allows you to enter The Ancient Agora. We also found out that there is no admission charged on Sundays.
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.
At home n United States we consider anything over 200 years to be very old. When I travel to Europe I have to rethink our concept of "old". And going to Greece makes you rethink your concept of "old" past your typical European preception. This statue of Hadrian in the Ancient Agora dates back to the second century. Its just shakes my mind to come face to face with something that historically old. Hadrian was the emperor of Rome from 117-138 B.C.
This statue sets just a few steps from The Temple of Haephastus and Athena.
The Agora is Located down to the Acropolis,
I wasn't visiting it all but saw just a part of it.
In this photo you can see the Temple of Hephaistos or as its know as the Theseion.
The temple was dedicated to 2 gods, Hephaistos and Athena.
You can also watch it either from above when walking from the plaka area towards the Acropolis or if you walk down the Thesion neiborhood and sit in one of the lovely cafe's there.
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.
The massive area of the Agora was covered by modern buildings up until the 1890's, when a railway was being built in the area. When the dug down, the workers uncovered the remains of ancient buildings. Since then, over 400 buildings have been torn down, and excavations have been ongoing since 1931, with a small interruption for WWII. The excavtions have been conducted by the American School of Classical Studies, and were initially funded by John J. Rockerfeller.
Yes you want to walk right here. This is the ancient agora. One of my favorite walks to Athens. A coffee break under the shadow is a must to do for everyone.
Walk the ancient promenade.
The recent plan to unify the archaeological sites around the Acropolis Hill by pedestrianising the streets and restoring monuments and listed buildings in the area has met with such success that Athenians have forgotten (or have tried to forget) how it was before.
The great thing about it is that you can do it any time of the day; either in daytime by pausing to visit sites on the way, or in the evening, as part of your walk around the city centre, on your way to a restaurant or bar. You can start your walk from Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, across the Temple of Zeus in Makriyanni and follow the cobblestone path around the Hill. On your way you see the Acropolis Hill and the Parthenon (see 20), the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus and Filopappou Hill with stunning views of the Parthenon and the hills of Imittos and Parnetha. The street is then renamed Apostolou Pavlou and you reach the picturesque square of Thisio, whith the cafés and restaurants making it one of the liveliest neighbourhoods. High up on Ermou street you find the vast Keramikos cemetery, were Athenians were buried from 3000 B.C.-6th century A.D. Continuing your walk, you end up in Monastiraki, from where you can either follow the route towards Gazi and Keramikos, or walk towards the sites of Plaka.
The Agora is located in the heart of Athens, and in the ancient times is where Athenians would gather to buy or sell goods, exchange gossip or critisize certain government affaires. The word "agora" means 'communnity' in english, because this was an old community with buildings and ruins that date back to 3000 BC. This site is open every day from 8:00am - 7:30pm. Full admission is 4 Euros.