The Ancient Agora and the Roman Agora in Athens, Greece

There are two historic agoras in Athens with fascinating archeological remains. Agoras are marketplaces that existed during the time of ancient Athens and each of these have historical significance. The Acropolis is obviously the most famous place to visit during any visit to Athens, but going to the agoras should certainly be on your itinerary as well. One can certainly imagine the ancient Greek philosophers walking these very same paths thousands of years ago as they contemplated about life, politics, and philosophy.

So Much to See in the Ancient Agora
Approaching the Temple of Hephaestus
Temple of Hephaestus from the Distance
The Ruins of the Agora Sitting Below the Acropolis
Looking Up at the Temple Hephaestus

The Ancient Agora of Athens – Located at the base of the Acropolis, walking these ancient grounds with the statues, pottery, and stone walls is truly fascinating. The highlight of the site is the Temple of Hephaestus, which is one of the most well-preserved ancient temples in all of Greece. Among the statues that you will see as you walk the ancient roads is the remaining torso of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. There is also a museum on the grounds with many historical artifacts. Of the two agoras, the Ancient Agora is probably the most striking, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t visit the Roman Agora as well.

First Glimpse of the Roman Agora
Ancient Pottery
Ancient Architecture
Ancient Water Clock
Standing Inside of the Roman Agora

The Roman Agora – Although smaller than the Agora of Athens, it is definitely still worth visiting. One of the most interesting structures on the site is the Tower of the Winds. It is an ancient clock tower where archeologists have discovered an ancient sun dial, wind vane, and a water clock. There are several outdoor restaurants in the area, which makes it a great place to visit during lunchtime where you can have a meal overlooking the ancient ruins.

Athens is such a wonderful city with an amazing history. With so many sites to visit, you should certainly plan at least several days in Athens in order to see it all.

Greek Lamb and Rice Dinner

Greek Lamb and Rice Dinner

We enjoy many different types of lamb dishes and one of our favorites are lamb chops. Although they are delicious simply grilled with garlic and herbs, this one pot dinner is an excellent alternative. We used a tajine to cook the dish, but it could just as easily be entirely cooked in a skillet. Finishing the lamb chops in the rice and tomatoes keeps it moist and tender. Similar to cooking with wine, when cooking with olives it is always important to use an olive that you would eat on its own without adding it to a dish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean
Servings 2 people


  • Skillet
  • Tajine


  • 1 lb Lamb Chops
  • 1 cup Uncooked Rice
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 14 1/2 oz Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 cloves Fresh Garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 1/3 tbsp Fresh Rosemary chopped
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata Olives pitted and halved
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Parsley for garnish


  • Boil the rice for about 8 minutes, drain and set aside. The rice will continue to cook in the oven.
  • Season the lamb with salt, pepper, and 1/3 tablespoon of rosemary.
  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown the lamb chops for about 2 to 3 minutes per side (including the fat side).
  • When you pull the lamb out of the skillet, add the garlic and cook for about a minute just allow it to release some of its flavors.
  • Either in the skillet or in a tajine, mix the rice, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and rosemary.
  • Nestle the lamb into the rice mixture and sprinkle the olives around top of the rice. Cover with a lid.
  • In an oven heated to 325 degrees, cook the lamb and rice mixture for about 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the lamb reaches about 145 degrees for medium-rare.
Keyword lamb, olives, rice

Tower of the Winds in the Roman Agora

One of the ancient sites in the city of Athens in Greece is the Roman Agora. An agora is simply a public space for people to gather, but they also often contained monuments to the gods and other important features. The main feature at the Roman Agora is the Tower of the Winds, which is considered by some people to be an early version of a weather station. There was a weather vane on the top of the tower that indicated the wind direction that would have been visible from throughout the city. What we found most interesting about the Tower of the Winds was the water clock that was housed within the tower. In a way, it is an ancient version of the clock towers that have become common throughout the world.

The Floor of the Tower with the Hole in the Center
The Large Well-Like Hole on the Side of the Tower
Looking Up at the Tower

The water clock works very much in the same way that a sand timer works in that the flow of water is controlled and as a vessel is filled at a specific time measurement. Today, in the center of the tower floor is a hole with channels coming from what looks similar to a well on the side of the tower. We aren’t sure what the inside of the tower would have looked like when it was in use, but we certainly enjoyed seeing it in its current form. The ingenuity of the ancient Greeks is certainly something fascinating to see in these modern days. All around the top of the tower are carvings of the eight wind deities that were worshiped in ancient times.

Hole in the Side of the Tower Wall to Allow Water to Enter the Tower
View of the Tower of the Winds and the Roman Agora