Arch of Hadrian

Athens, Greece

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 adventus (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.

It is not certain who commissioned the arch, although it is probable that the citizens of Athens or another Greek group were responsible for its construction and design. 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.




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Founded: 131-132 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Anna Rohde (12 months ago)
Its a nice spot to take some photos with greek art for free, you can also make it interesting as there is many angles from which u can try. You can also come to it by accident when u go from Plaka district and the interesting fact is the writings on both sides. Good to see all in all, personally gave me happiness.
Catherine Curzon (14 months ago)
We came across this site quite by accident and what a pleasant surprise it was. Situated on a very busy main road there it lots to see. Unfortunately there was a lot of scaffolding in place which makes for difficult photo opportunities but doesn't detract from the site itself. A good few shady places to rest as the site is quite open and it gets very hot in Athens and there is a small gift shop with the usual items. Take your time walking around and enjoy the wonderful ruins.
Jason Zarate (16 months ago)
Well-preserved and in a prominent location, the arch reminds us of just how much happened here. Built long after the golden age of Pericles, this arch stands as a reminder that the ancient ruins of Athens didn't all appear at once. Instead, many building projects commissioned by various governments had their hand in shaping this fascinating landscape.
Ian Gerokostas (2 years ago)
All Time classic
Jacek Koziarski (2 years ago)
Piece of art.
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