Hadrian's Arch and Library, Athens
The Arch of Hadrian is at the south end of Leof. Amalia and just south of the National Gardens. The upper part of the arch holds four white marble columns with Corinthian capitals. The Arch was built as the entrance to the city for Hadrian in 132 AD. On a frieze just below the columns there is a saying on each surface, The inscription on the west side reads "This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus".
Αρχαιολογικος Χωρος Βιβλιοθηκη Αδριανου or the Library of Hadrian was built by the Roman emperor Hadrian, c. 131/132 A.D. The archaeological site is still under excavation and is being restored, so that it is not yet open to the general public. But you can get adequate views from the Areos Street on the west, Dexippou Street on the south, and Aeolou Street on the east.
The complex originally consisted of a large rectangular area enclosed by tall walls. Inside the walls was an open-air courtyard, surrounded by columns of marble imported from Turkey. In the center of this peristyle court was a long pool and probably a garden. At the far eastern end, there were several rooms that formed the "library" proper. Although this monument has been called the "Library of Hadrian" since the early 19th century A.D., that is a modern nickname: it is really a type of imperial Roman forum (modelled after the Forum of Peace built by the emperor Vespasian in Rome).
The arch was built in 131 AD by the Roman emperor Hadrian as part of the wall, separating New and Old Athens. The gate is 18 m. high and decorated after the Corintian style. Hadrian's reign was distinguished by its peaceful years and a lot of time and energy were devoted to construction and arts.
The arch is located south from the National Garden on Amalias Avenue.
...........is not really open yet. It is still being excavated and restored.
So it's up to you whether you consider going into the site is worth it or not (you can see the fronta of the library from the roadside).
When I visited only the frontage was accessible.
The Library is huge and dates from 132AD (built during Hadrian's reign, obviously). A hundred columns surrounded a courtyard, and it was much more than just a store for bookd (well, scrolls). The original contents included artwork, and there were spaces for speeches/lectures too.
But look at the entrance steps, at least (see other photo)...........and consider how many hundreds of thousands of feet must have trodden them to have worn them down so much.
The Library of Hadrian considered to be founded by the emperor of that name after II-th century A.D. This was a colonnaded court measuring 122 by 82m with semicircular recesses in the external walls.
The entrance was on the west side and part of this richly decorated with Corinthian columns and a four-column propylon has been preserved.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Athens on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates or on my Google Earth Panoramio Vivliothiki tou Adrianou .
The Arch of Hadrian is a monumental gateway resembling a Roman triumphal arch. It spanned an ancient road from the center of Athens to the complex of structures on the eastern side of the city that included the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It has been proposed that the arch was built to celebrate the arrival of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and to honor him for his many benefactions to the city.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Athens on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 58' 12.94" N 23º 43' 54.94" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Arch of Hadrian .
The Arch of Hadrian is a monumental gateway resembling – in some respects - a Roman triumphal arch. It spanned an ancient road from the center of Athens to the complex of structures on the eastern side of the city that included the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It has been proposed that the arch was built to celebrate the arrival of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and to honor him for his many benefactions to the city, on the occasion of the dedication of the nearby temple complex in 131 or 132 AD.
There were two inscriptions on the arch, facing in opposite directions, naming both Theseus and Hadrian as founders of Athens. While it is clear that the inscriptions honor Hadrian, it is uncertain whether they refer to the city as a whole or to the city in two parts: one old and one new. The early idea, however, that the arch marked the line of the ancient city wall, and thus the division between the old and the new regions of the city, has been shown to be false by further excavation. The arch is located 325m southeast of the Acropolis.
This Hadrian fellow was quite busy, as he dedicated an arch, built a library, and had the Temple of Olympian Zeus finished during his tenure. Still being excavated, and only now offering a little to see, the library was at one time a very large structure. Please correct if I am wrong, but from this library came a significant advance in writing/communications when the Queen of Egypt banned the Library of Alexandria to ship scrolls, the main and by far the most common form of writing or manuscript, to Greece. In response to this workers at the Hadrian Library developed papyrus paper, which would then make the scroll obsolete.
A typical roman triumph arch that was the gateway between Acropolis(that is 300m away) and the Temple of Olympian Zeus (you can see what’s left of it at the back side of the arch) and marked the line of the ancient city wall. The arch was built in honor of the roman emperor Hadrian in 131 A.D.
There are two inscriptions written on the gate:
“This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus”
"This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus"
It’s 18m high and pentelic marble was used for the Arch like in most of structrures in Athens (Parthenon etc). For many years it was under construction because the pollution has damaged part of the stone.
I like to pass by the Arch from time to time and even at night looks nice, that's why sometimes I walk till there instead taking a bus to Syntagma square...
Hadrians Arch is located near the entrance to The Temple of the Olympic Zeus. The arch was constructed around the year 131 B.C. If you look closely at my picture you will see The Acropolis in the background. There is an interesting inscription on the Arch. According to one reference the side facing the Acropolis has the inscription "This is the city of Theseus" and on the side facing the Temple of Zeus it is inscribed with "This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus." I did not know about this when I saw the statue so I did not look for the inscriptions. If you see the Arch check it out and let me know if you see the inscription!
Disclaimer: I never did enter the enclosure but walked past it several times. Looks impressive as it is!
Hadrian's Library is just north of the Roman Agora and is within walking distance to Monastiraki subway station. Here, you will find ruins originally built in AD 132 by the Roman emperor Hadrian which were later damaged in 267 by Herules, and again rose out of the ashes from 407-412 sponsored by the Roman eparchus, Herculius .
In form, the complex consists of a large, nearly square, walled enclosure, with entrance on the west. The walls on the north, south, and east were made of poros limestone, while the western wall was constructed of Pentelic marble. The western side also had a single row of Corinthian columns (made from marble from Karystos in southern Euboia) in front of the wall, on either side of the main entrance. Inside the complex was an open air courtyard, with a central pool and garden, surrounded by columns made from marble imported from Phrygia (no longer preserved). At the eastern end of the colonnade were a series of rooms (called oikemata) that housed the "library" where books were stored and served as reading rooms and lecture halls.
Today, in the same place, you will also encounter the ruins of a 5th century church, a 7th century church as well as a 12th century cathedral.
The arch of Hadrian was built in 132BC to celebrate the arrival of the roman emperor Hadrian(all the arch was made with pentelic marble).There are two inscriptions on the arch, the first one says This is Athens the ancient city of Theseus and the second This is the city of Hadrian not of Theseus Just beyond the arch is the temple of Olympian Zeus
Hadrian’s Arch was built in 132 AD. The arch has some interesting engraving on it. On one side it says,” This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus”. On the other side it says, “This is the city of Hadran and not of Theseus”. This means if you stand on one side of the arch you were in ancient Athens and if you stood on the other side you were in the modern roman city of Athens.
The first excavations on the site were carried out by W. Doerpfeld and St. Koumanoudis, in the central and eastern part of Hadrians library, after the great fire of 1885, which damaged the Agora and the church of Megali Panaghia.
Between 1942 and 1950 a second excavation campaign was conducted by the Italians, and later by A. Orlandos and I. Meliades. Between 1970 and 1980, J. Travlos carried out excavations at the NE auditorium and the quatrefoil building. Since 1987 the 1st Ephorate of Antiquities has been conducting systematic excavations in the west section of the monument.
In the years 1960-70 restoration work was carried out at the west facade and the colonnade of the basilica of Megali Panaghia, and in 1975-76 the Propylon was consolidated.
The 1st Ephorate is currently preparing a study for the reconstruction of the Propylon and the south wing of the facade of the building.
Next to the metro station of Monastiraki and just a little north of the Roman agora you will find Hadrians library, built in 132 AD by the Roman emperor.
The rectangular building of the Library comprises a Corinthian propylon on the west side, an open peristyle courtyard, three projecting conches (apse or semi dome of an apse) on each of the long sides, a library, study and lecture halls. It was destroyed by the Herulae in 267 BC and was subsequently incorporated into the Late Roman fortification wall.
It was repaired by the Roman eparchus Herculius in 412, and in the 5th century the quatrefoil building of the Early Christian church was constructed in the centre of the peristyle court. After its destruction, a three-aisled basilica was erected on its ruins in the 7th century, which was in turn superseded by the single-aisled church of Megali Panaghia, in the 11th century. During the Turkish occupation it became the seat of the Voevode (Governor) and in 1835, the barracks of king Otto were erected in the place of the Voevodalik.
The site is temporally closed to the public because of restauration. You will have the best view from Arios and Dexippou street.
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