Tower of the Winds, Athens

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  • penny_g's Profile Photo

    Tower of Winds

    by penny_g Written Nov 26, 2010

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    It's also called horologion (timepiece) and is an octagonal Pentelic marble clocktower. It is being overlooked by the acropolis and the parthenon and was erected by the Macedonian astronomer Andronicos around 50 BCE. To the ancients, the winds had divine powers and on the frieze of each side below the conical rooftop there is a sculpted figure of the wind deity ruling the compass point to which it faces. The term Horologion also acknowledges the other features of the tower that Andronicos incorporated: sundials and a complicated internal water clock with a supply from the Acropolis above.

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    Tower of the Winds

    by leics Written Apr 12, 2009

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    This lovely octagonal building is inside the site of the Roman agora/forum, although you can see it from the road if the site is shut (or you don't want to go in).

    It dates from the first century BC, and is a sundial, weather-vane and water-clock (powered by a spring from the Acropolis). It was designed by an astronomer, Andronikos of Khyrros but, as always, I am more impressed by the skill of those who built it and who are long forgotten than by the person whose name is still remembered.

    Each side of the building has a carving of a 'wind', remarkably well-preserved given the age of the stone and the pollution of Athens , and originally had a sundial too.

    Wind 1 Wind 2 Wind 3 Wind 4 Tower and agora/forum site.
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  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    Tower of winds(Aerides)

    by mallyak Written Aug 23, 2008

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    From Dioskouron Street continue to Areos Street which will lead you to the square where a monument is located. It is called the Horologion or Clock of Andronikos Kyrrhestes, after the architect from Syros who built it in the 1st BC. It served as waterclock, sundial and weathervane. Its eight sides are orientated to the eight points of the horizon, which correspond to the eight winds whose names and symbols are carved out of the upper portion

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    Tower of the Winds

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jul 23, 2008

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    The Tower of the Winds is an octagonal marble tower on the Roman agora. It was supposedly built around 50 BC. The 12 m tall structure has a diameter of about 8 m and was topped in antiquity by a weathervane-like Triton that indicated the wind direction.

    Below the frieze depicting the eight wind deities — Boreas (N), Kaikias (NE), Eurus (E), Apeliotes (SE), Notus (S), Lips (SW), Zephyrus (W), and Skiron (NW) — there are nine sundials.

    You may watch my high resolution photo of Athens on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 58' 26.26" N 23º 43' 36.67" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Tower of the Winds .

    Athens - Tower of the Winds Athens - Tower of the Winds
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  • viddra's Profile Photo

    The Tower of the Winds

    by viddra Written Jul 19, 2007

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    This marble tower dominates the Roman Agora.

    It was constructed as a water clock in the 1st half of the 1st century BC by the astronomer Andronikos Kyrrhestes.

    Its sides are adorned with reliefs representing the 8 winds, Boreas (N), Kaikias (NE), Apeliotes (E), Euros (SE), Notos (S), Lips (SW), Zephyros (W) and Skiron (NW).

    There used to be sundials outside as well.

    the tower of the winds
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  • mikey_e's Profile Photo

    Tower of the Winds and the Agora

    by mikey_e Written Jul 2, 2007

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    The Tower of the Winds and the Agora are conveniently located near Monastiraki station and a clutch of touristy restaurants at the edge of Plaka. The ruins have precious little explanatory material and the crowded in development of modern buildings hardly helps to preserve the atmosphere of the site. Nevertheless, the two are impressive, even if the agora is a bit sparse. The same admission fee allows you to see the Tower, the Agora and the Fetiye Mosque (you cannot enter any of the standing structures). The Tower was constructed by a Syrian astronomer in the 1st Century BC and served as a sundial, weather vane and water clock.

    Roman Agora ruins The tower of the winds The outside wall of the agora and converted mosque
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  • littlesam1's Profile Photo

    Athens - Tower of the Winds or Clock of Andronicus

    by littlesam1 Updated Jun 11, 2007

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    I did not find the Roman Agora quite as interesting as the Ancient Agro, but I would still recommend you allow yourself time to walk through it. Probably the most interesting building in the remains of the Roman Agora is the Tower of the Four Winds. It was built in the second century BC by Andronikos Kyrrestes. It was a weather vane and water clock. Its top depicts the eight faces of the wind.

    Tower of the Winds Faces of the winds on the top of the tower

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  • The Tower of the Winds

    by janbeeu Updated Jul 18, 2005

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    was constructed near the east end of the Roman agora by the astronomer Andronicos, from Kyrrhos in Macedonia. It is now known as the Tower of the Winds.

    The name of the structure relates to the representations of eight winds, Boreas (N), Kaikias (NE), Apeliotes (E), Euros (SE), Notos (S), Lips (SW), Zephyros (W), and Skiron (NW), sculpted on the eight facades.

    The octagonal tower, 3,20 metres long on each side, stands on a base of three steps and is built of white Pentelic marble. It has a conical roof, a cylindrical annex on the south side and two Corinthian porches, one on the NE and one on the NW side. There were sundials on the external walls and an elaborate water clock in the interior.

    In the early Christian period, the Tower of the Winds was converted into a church or a baptesterion of an adjacent church, while the area outside the NE entrance was occupied by a Christian cemetery. In the 15th century AD, Cyriacus of Ancona mentions the monument as the temple of Aeolos while an anonymous traveller refers to it as a church. In the 18th century it was used as the tekke of the Dervishes.

    The monument had been half-buried by the earth accumulated over the centuries. It was excavated between 1837 and 1845 by the Greek Archaeological Society. Restoration work was carried out between 1916-1919 by An. Orlandos and again in 1976 by the 1st Ephorate of Antiquities.

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    The Tower of the Winds

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  • Pieter11's Profile Photo

    Tower of Winds

    by Pieter11 Written Jun 1, 2005

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    At the very eastpoint of the Roman Agora, you´ll find the beautiful Tower of Winds. This octagonal tower, with a height of 12,1 metres, was built in the first century B.C. and kept a socalled `Horologon´, a water-watch that showed the time by the position of water in a tube. It was invented by Andronykos Kyrrhetes.

    The outside of the tower is dedicated to the eight directions of winds that the Greeks had. All these directions are presented by sculptures at the walls:
    - Boreas at the North-side
    - Kaikias at the Northeast
    - Apeliotes at the East
    - Euros at the Southeast
    - Notos at the South
    - Lips at the Southwest
    - Zephyros at the West
    - Skiron at the Northwest
    The sculpture made clear weither wind from a certain direction brought good of bad things for the city. Look yourself and it all will be clear.

    At the top of the tower there always was a bronze weather vane showing the direction of the wind. Todays that vane is lost.

    Probably the Tower of Winds also was a planetarium and showed the time using sundials. This was a ancient meteo-centre.

    Tower of Winds
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  • The Tower of Winds

    by AsterixSg Written Jan 19, 2005

    The Tower of Winds, found in the Roman Agora, is an octagonal tower which was created as a meteorological station and clock. The building is also called the Clock of Andronikos – based on the astronomer Andronikos who built it. Carved depictions of the 8 winds decorate the sides of the monument.
    Iron rods with carved lines were erected high up in the corners, that indicated the hours of the day. On days when there was no sunlight, a water clock inside the tower used to show the time.
    Sorry, the picture is not so clear as it was shot from within a taxi.

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  • AcornMan's Profile Photo

    Tower of the Winds in Roman Agora

    by AcornMan Written Apr 26, 2004

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    The Tower of the Winds is located near the east end of the Roman Agora. The octagonal tower stands on a base of three steps and is built of white Pentelic marble. It has a conical roof, a cylindrical annex on the south side, and two Corinthian porches, one on the NE and one on the NW side. At the top of each of the eight sides there is a relief representation of a wind, symbolized by a male figure with the appropriate attributes and its name inscribed on the stone. There were sundials on the external walls and an elaborate waterclock in the interior. The tower was built in the first half of the 1st century B.C. by the astronomer Andronicos, from Kyrrhos in Macedonia.

    In the early Christian period, the Tower of the Winds was converted into a church or a baptistry of an adjacent church, while the area outside the NE entrance was occupied by a Christian cemetery. In the 15th century C.E., Cyriacus of Ancona mentions the monument as the temple of Aeolos while an anonymous traveller refers to it as a church.

    Tower of the Winds

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  • amsterdam_vallon's Profile Photo

    Tower of the Winds -south and southwest sides

    by amsterdam_vallon Written Dec 29, 2003

    On this picture, you can see a close-up of the north side of the tower of the winds.

    On the right
    - Notos (south) is the bearer of rain, emptying a pitcher of water.

    On the left
    - Lips (southwest) holds the aphlaston (stern ornament) of a ship as he steers.

    Tower of the Winds -south and southwest sides

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  • amsterdam_vallon's Profile Photo

    Tower of the Winds -north side

    by amsterdam_vallon Updated Dec 29, 2003

    On this picture, you can see a close-up of the north side of the tower of the winds.

    On the left
    - Skiron (northwest) represented as a bearded man carrying a bronze pot full of hot ashes and charcoal.

    In the center
    - Boreas (north) represented as a man wearing a heavy cloak blowing through a twisted conch shell.

    On the right
    - Kaikias (northeast) is represented as a man carrying and emptying a shield full of small round objects that some have interpreted as hailstones.

    Tower of the Winds -north side

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    Horologion of Andronicos (Tower of the Winds)

    by amsterdam_vallon Written Dec 29, 2003

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    The octagonal tower (3.20 m. long on each side) stands on a base of three steps and is built of white Pentelic marble. It has a conical roof, a cylindrical annex on the south side, and two Corinthian porches, one on the NE and one on the NW side. At the top of each of the eight sides there is a relief representation of a wind, symbolized by a male figure with the appropriate attributes and its name inscribed on the stone.

    The name of the eight winds of the tower :
    - Notos (south) is the bearer of rain, emptying a pitcher of water.
    - Euros (southeast) is a bearded man, warmly wrapped in a cloak.
    - Apeliotes (east) is a young man bringing fruits and grain.
    - Zephyros (west) is a seminaked youth scattering flowers.
    - Lips (southwest) holds the aphlaston (stern ornament) of a ship as he steers.
    - Boreas (north) represented as a man wearing a heavy cloak blowing through a twisted conch shell
    - Kaikias (northeast) is represented as a man carrying and emptying a shield full of small round objects that some have interpreted as hailstones.
    - Skiron (northwest) represented as a bearded man carrying a bronze pot full of hot ashes and charcoal.

    There were sundials on the external walls and an elaborate waterclock in the interior. The tower was built in the first half of the 1st century B.C. by the astronomer Andronicos, from Kyrrhos in Macedonia.

    In the early Christian period, the Tower of the Winds was converted into a church or a baptesterion of an adjacent church, while the area outside the NE entrance was occupied by a Christian cemetery. In the 15th century A.D., Cyriacus of Ancona mentions the monument as the temple of Aeolos while an anonymous traveller refers to it as a church. In the 18th century it was used as the tekke of the Dervishes.

    The photo show the details of the reliefs on the north face of the Tower of the Winds.

    Openings hours :
    From November 1st to March 31: Daily: 08:30 - 15:00, Monday: closed
    From July 1st to October 31: Daily: 08.30 - 15.00, Monday: closed

    Horologion of Andronicos (Tower of the Winds)

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  • Sharrie's Profile Photo

    The Tower of The Winds

    by Sharrie Updated May 20, 2003

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    A short walk into the hearts of Plaka will bring you to this interesting tower which is octagonal & in Hellenistic style. It was built as a water clock & on each side of the tower, the relief depicts the direction of the wind. Built by Syrian astronomer Andronikos Kyrrestes in 1st Century B.C. in marble, I found it a very interesting & unique piece of architecture. The octagonal shapes personify the 8 winds (Aerides), ie. simply, North, Northwest, West, Southwest, South, Southeast, East & Northeast. The ancient Greeks certainly were full of ideas & knew their stuff! Amazing!

    Tower of the winds
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