Athens Arch of Hadrian

Location: Syntagma

The Arch of Hadrian in Athens is a triumphal arch which lies in proximity to Syntagma Square, right between the Acropolis and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. On the northwest, this monument faces the Monument of Lycicrates in Plaka. The construction of this temple started in 131 AD when the people wanted to celebrate the arrival of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and thank him for his benefactions to the city. The architect and builders of the arch are unknown to this day.
Its location is not random, but rather symbolic. In fact, it was strategically selected to mark the line between the ancient part of Athens and Hadrian's new city.

Made of fine Pentelic marble, this arch is 18 meters high, 12,5 meters wide and 2,3 meters deep. Its architecture is similar to other Roman arches and it is crowned by pilasters of the Corinthian rhythm. Its design is fully symmetrical.
The monument has two layers. At the center of the lower layer, there is an arched gate through which people can pass. Also, there were two columns, which do not exist anymore and are connected by architraves between the two layers.

Two inscriptions are carved in the architrave, one on each side: the first, on the side towards the Acropolis, reads "This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus", while the second, on the side facing the new city, reads "This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus".
It is obvious that the ancient city formed new districts due to the expansion that was made by the Emperor.

Given that the monument was never fully protected, it has survived time in extraordinary condition. Unfortunately, in recent decades, pollution has caused extensive discoloration of the original material and degradation of the inscriptions.

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How to get there

There are many ways to reach the Arch of Hadrian from any location in Athens.

Tours: Discover the Arch of Hadrian with an organized tour.

Private transfers: We recommend using an online pre-booked transfer service, which provides transfer by taxi, minibus, or private VIP car and arranging a pickup directly from the port, airport, or your hotel. Alternatively, there’s the option of arranging a pickup by a local driver directly at the following numbers: (0030) 18288, (0030) 18222, (0030) 18180. You can also book your taxi online.

On foot: As the Arch of Hadrian is located in a central area of Athens, it can be easily reached on foot from Syntagma Metro Station in approximately 10 minutes.

By metro: The closest metro station is Akropoli (Red Line). Note that the Arch of Hadrian is located within a 5-minute walking distance from the metro. Get a map of the metro here.

By bus/trolleybus: Since the Arch of Hadrian is located in one of the most central regions in Athens, there are many bus stops nearby. Check the routes and the official timetables on OASA Telematics.

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