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.

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

The Eight Columns on the Façade of the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Greece

Seeing the Parthenon during our trip to Athens, Greece was certainly one of the most interesting sites that we visited. At night, the Parthenon was lit up so that it can be seen from all around the city. The fact that there are eight columns on the façade and seventeen columns on the flanks was done very specifically by the ancient Greeks. They wanted to conform to the 9:4 ratio that was a common design in the days that the Parthenon was built. This ratio governs the relationship between the vertical and horizontal proportions. It is also true of the relationship of the spacing between the columns to the height of the columns. Obviously, geometry was extremely important to the ancient Greeks and it is fascinating to see how they applied this to their lives and to the monuments that they created.

Looking Up at the Parthenon
Parthenon from the Distance to Get a Sense of the Proportions
Parthenon and the Acropolis at Sunset
Different View of the Parthenon
Even the Zappeion Mansion has Eight Columns at the Entrance
Standing in Front of the Parthenon