Hadrian's Library

Athens, Greece

Hadrian's Library was created by Roman Emperor Hadrian in AD 132 on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens.

The building followed a typical Roman Forum architectural style, having only one entrance with a propylon of Corinthian order, a high surrounding wall with protruding niches (oikoiexedrae) at its long sides, an inner courtyard surrounded by columns and a decorative oblong pool in the middle.The library was on the eastern side where rolls of papyrus 'books' were kept. Adjoining halls were used as reading rooms, and the corners served as lecture halls.

The library was seriously damaged by the Herulian invasion of 267 and repaired by the prefect Herculius in AD 407-412. During Byzantine times, three churches were built at the site, the remains of which are preserved: a tetraconch (5th century AD), a three-aisled basilica (7th century) and a simple cathedral (12th century), which was the first cathedral of the city.



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Areos 3, Athens, Greece
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Founded: 132 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ricko Suryadinata (8 months ago)
This is probably one of the more "structurally intact" sites out of the other sites you can visit (outside of the Acropolis). Went here as part of the package deal you can purchase. Since it's near most of the touristy spot/area. It's a nice little walk about to learn more about the history of Athens. You are still able to see the ruins/structure from the outside behind the fences, but if you brought the full pass and have the time; it's still a nice little place to visit and see.
Marin “SayanMk” Kolev (10 months ago)
Buy the combined ticket online. You then just scan or show it at the entrance. Highly recommended! As for the library - it's one of the better sites to visit and very close to the center. What I liked most of it is the remaining towers behind the main library.
Charlie Newey (10 months ago)
Pretty good, takes 15 - 30 minutes max - same as the Roman Agora. Could do with more information on the items found in the site. Felt like most of the stuff was piled up and left on the side. A bit of investment in restoration is needed. Great initial wall of the library as you come in but that was the highlight. The wall was viewable from outside so not sure how worth entry is. If you have a group ticket for the other sites you might as well wander inside however most of the interesting items are viewable from the street.
T Gartshore (10 months ago)
Nice walk around this historic place. Your not in there long but its still while. Recommended buying multi ticket that gets you into these places.
Chad Schallick (15 months ago)
Make sure to check out Hadrian’s Library in the evening hours! The lights make the ancient ruins look amazing at night. During the day walk the grounds and take in all the beauty of the ruins. Grab a ticket online for no wait times! I was here in December 2021 and had the whole place to myself.
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