Stoa of Attalos

Athens, Greece

The Stoa of Attalos was a covered walkway or portico in the Agora of Athens. It was built by and named after King Attalos II of Pergamon, who ruled between 159 BC and 138 BC. The current building was reconstructed in 1952–1956 by American architects along with the Greek architect Ioannis Travlos and the Greek Civil Engineer Yeoryios Biris.

Typical of the Hellenistic age, the stoa was more elaborate and larger than the earlier buildings of ancient Athens. The stoa's dimensions are 115 by 20 metres and it is made of Pentelic marble and limestone. The building skillfully makes use of different architectural orders. The Doric order was used for the exterior colonnade on the ground floor with Ionic for the interior colonnade. This combination had been used in stoas since the Classical period and was by Hellenistic times quite common. On the first floor of the building, the exterior colonnade was Ionic and the interior Pergamene. Each story had two aisles and twenty-one rooms lining the western wall. The rooms of both stories were lighted and vented through doorways and small windows located on the back wall. There were stairways leading up to the second story at each end of the stoa.

History

The stoa is identified as a gift to the city of Athens for the education that Attalos received there. A dedicatory inscription engraved on the architrave states that it was built by Attalos II, who was ruler of Pergamon from 159 BC to 138 BC.

The stoa was in frequent use until it was destroyed by the Heruli in 267. The ruins became part of a fortification wall, which made it easily seen in modern times. In 1952-1956, the stoa was fully reconstructed and the Ancient Agora Museum was created by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, with funding donated by the Rockefeller family.

Museum of the Ancient Agora

The Stoa of Attalos houses the Museum of the Ancient Agora. Its exhibits are mostly connected with the Athenian democracy. The collection of the museum includes clay, bronze and glass objects, sculptures, coins and inscriptions from the 7th to the 5th century BC, as well as pottery of the Byzantine period and the Turkish conquest.

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Athens, Greece
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Details

Founded: 159 BCE (1952-1956)
Category: Museums in Greece

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andrey Kiseliov (19 months ago)
Interesting museum. Situated on the territory of the Roman Agora.
Lene Wilhelmsen (19 months ago)
Loved it! Great exhibition. Crowds could be managed better and sign more explanatory. But still great :)
D Luce (20 months ago)
Stunning location, incredible architecture. A must see for a tourist (and entry is heavily subsidised for students). The building is a reconstruction of the original Stoa and it houses a museum of many ancient relics.
Marcel Pirosca (20 months ago)
Especially liked the statue of Alexander the Great on the second floor. Below are two pictures I took there. One is of Alexander and the other it's how I imagined the ancient stoa back in the day.
Vladimer Shioshvili (22 months ago)
The place is spacious, not crowded and we'll designed. And most of all it is picturesque. Explore the museum's fairly representative collection of artifacts from various time periods.
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