Agora of Athens

Athens, Greece

The Ancient Agora of Classical Athens is the best-known example of an ancient Greek agora (central public space in ancient Greek city-states), located to the northwest of the Acropolis and bounded on the south by the hill of the Areopagus and on the west by the hill known as the Agoraios Kolonos, also called Market Hill. The Agora's initial use was for a commercial, assembly, or residential gathering place. 

Agora contains several remains of ancient temples and buildings. Temple of Hephaestus is one of the best-preserved Greek temples, built around 450 BCE. The excavations has uncovered most of the over 30 known major buildings from the Agora, along with thousands of artifacts. Conservation efforts have restored thousands of pieces of pottery and amphora (the standard storage vessel of the ancient world), studied thousands of marble statues and reliefs, and analyzed the remains of human and animal bones to give us a better understanding of what life was like in the ancient Athenian world.

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Address

Vrisakiou 17, Athens, Greece
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Details

Founded: 5th century BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

M V (2 years ago)
Amazing location with a very nice monument, fully intact. Park is very nice with a walkway with lots of statues with signs to tell you what each one is, nice church that you can enter, and a mini Parthenon? Great views of the acropolis from below and staff very nice and helpful. Gift shop with souvenirs and drinks in case you get thirsty. Great place to visit and in my opinion Better than the acropolis
Dionisis Frantzis (2 years ago)
A peaceful place to have a walk and admire the ruins if ancient Greek central market. The place is full of trees, ruins and the gorgeous temple of Hephaestus. The view of Acropolis and the Parthenon is also great. A must do for tourism but also a great idea for a walk with good companion!
Kevin Septian (2 years ago)
This place is one out of many places in athens that you should visit. Athens is a big place to see the history of the civilization. Anyway, this place is so big, many things to see and even there is one interesting building that has a museum inside it. This big area has also some buildings that you can see thought one side to another with a great view. I totally recommend this place to visit. You also just need to pay for all museum as it offers you better price. You can start walk from the left to the back, and to the right side.
Oliver H (2 years ago)
Surreal place and such a lovely vibe roaming around the area taking in all its beauty. Definitely get yourselves down there, I recommend getting the 30€ ticket as this is included and also a top tip. Get the ticket from anywhere but the acropolis as you'll save some time and effort queuing up!
Robert Cooke (2 years ago)
Impressively large complex that is apart of the €30 combined Acropolis ticket. I didn't know much about in advance but it turned out to be 1 of my favourite places in ancient Athens. There is a small museum, a big temple and a lot more. There is good information listed throughout. It's amazing how much history happened here. You definitely should add it to your list with must visit places in Athens.
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Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

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Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.