Roman Agora

Location: Monastiraki   

The Roman Agora in Athens: The Roman Agora is located on the northern side of the Acropolis and very close to the metro station at Monastiraki. In fact, through a paved path, it is connected to the Ancient Agora in Thissio. Although the Ancient Agora was the place of political gatherings for the Athenians, the Roman Agora was actually a marketplace, an open market.

According to archaeologists, it was constructed in the 1st century BC and an inscription informs us that it was constructed with the funds of Julius Ceasar and Augustus. The Roman Agora consisted of a large, open-air courtyard surrounded by colonnades on all four sides. On the eastern side, there was a series of shops and on the southern side, there was a fountain. The main entrance was at the west, but there was also another entrance that led to the Tower of the Winds, an octagonal building used to tell the time and predict the weather.

During the reign of Hadrian, the Roman Agora was paved with slabs and a library was built in close distance, the famous Library of Hadrian. After the invasion of Herulae in 267 AD, the Roman Agora became the commercial and administrative center of Athens. Along centuries, the invasions of the Venetians and the Ottomans destroyed the site and gradually the area was covered with houses, workshops, churches, and mosques. Such a mosque exists even today next to the Roman Agora, the Fethiye Mosque.

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