Roman Agora of Athens

Roman Agora of Athens

In the ruins of the Roman Agora, there is a main attraction that is found in the general archaeological area that is surrounded by the streets of Epameinonda, Areos, Polygnotou and Markou Avrliou in Plaka.

We are talking about the many times renamed Clock of Andronicus of Cyrrhus - also known as Horologion, Tower of Wind or, simply, Aerides (a name that was borrowed by the area between Plaka and Monstiraki).

The actual Roman Agora is a large building, 111 x 98 m in dimension, with a rectangular courtyard that is surrounded by stoas, stores and warehouses. It has two propylaea, one of Ionian style (east) and another of Dorian style (west), known as the Gate of Athena Archegetis - the best preserved structure of the area.

The Roman Agora was built between 19-11 B.C. from the donations of Julius Caesar and Augustus. The courtyard was tiled during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian. After the Herulian invasion (267) and the constraint of Athens inside the post-Romaic wall, the administrative and commercial center of the city was transferred from the Ancient Agora to the Roman Agora and the Library of Hadrian.

During the Byzantine era and Ottoman domination the Roman Agora became occupied by houses, workshops, churches and the Mosque of Fethiye Djami.


Furthermore, during the 18th Century the Tower of the Winds (Aeridon) was converted into a monastery by "derbisites" (better known as Muslim practitioners).

Systematic excavations of the Roman Agora originally began by Italian archaeologists during 1940-42 and were continued by the Archaeological Society at Athens, after the necessary demolitions were brought to fruition. The Tower of the Winds was excavated between 1837 and 1845 by the Archaeological Society because with the passing of time the monument became semi-buried into the ground.

The restoration works at the Roman Agora began in 1915 - with the most recent being that of the Department of Acropolis in 1975-76 on the Tower of the Winds and the Gate of Athena Archegetis.