The Ancient Agora of Athens: The Ancient Agora, one of the most important sites of the Greek capital, is located on the northwest of the Acropolis, between the neighborhoods of Thission and Monastiraki. A large area with ancient ruins and much greenery, the Ancient Agora was the center of Athens in the antiquity, the place where political gatherings and juries would take place.
At first, the Agora had private houses, until it was reorganized by tyrant Peisistratus in the 6th century BC. Although he himself built his residence inside the Agora, he made all the other houses move and closed the wells, making this region the center of the Athenian government. He also created a drainage system, fountains and built a temple to the Olympia gods. The following century, the Athenians constructed public buildings, temples to Hephaestus, Zeus and Apollo and planted trees.
In classical Athens (5th century BC) and the summit of the Athenian democracy, the city council (or Vouli), the presidents of the council (or Prytaneis) and the magistrates (or Archons), all met in the Ancient Agora. The law courts were also held there. In 480 BC, the Persians destroyed most buildings in the Agora during the siege of Athens, but later on, the Athenians rebuilt them. The agora became again a residential area in the Roman and the Byzantine times.
The first excavations in the site were carried between 1859 and 1912 by the Greek Archaeological Society and the German Archaeological Institute. In 1890, works for the construction of the Athens-Piraeus railway revealed a large part of the agora. In 1931, the American School of Classical Studies started excavations again till 1941. From 1945 until today, works are still carried on. To excavate the whole area, about 400 modern residences that covered an area of 12 hectares were pulled down.
Among the most important monuments of the Ancient Agora is the temple of Hephaestus which is the best preserved ancient temple in Greece, and the Stoa of Attalus, that was recently renovated. The Stoa was actually a trade market constructed by the king of Pergamus, Attalus, between 159-138 B.C. Today it works as a museum and houses many interesting exhibits found during excavations in the Ancient Agora.
Discover the Ancient Agora with a tour
Discover some of the most popular tours to the Ancient Agora:
Discover the most important sightseeing of Athens on foot! Walk through the Syntagma Square, Plaka and go up the Acropolis Hill. The tour begins in Syntagma metro station and ends in the Acropolis. A licensed guide will give you detailed explanations of all sights.
There are many ways to reach the Ancient Agora, from any location in Athens.
Tours: Discover the Ancient Agora with an organized tour, starting from 35 euros.
Private transfers: We recommend using an online pre-booked Athens 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 693 881 8288, 0030 694 597 2090, 0030 690 943 9292or book your taxi online.
On foot: As the Ancient Agora is located in a central area of Athens, it can be easily reached on foot from Monastiraki metro station, in less than 5 minutes.
By metro: The closest metro stations are "Thissio" on line 1 and “Monastiraki” on lines 1 & 3. Note that the Ancient Agora is located 3-5 minutes on foot from the metro. Get a map of the metro here.
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