Athens Ancient Agora

Location: Thissio

The Ancient Agora of Athens, one of the most important sights of the Greek capital, is located northwest of the Acropolis, between the neighborhoods of Thissio and Monastiraki.
A large area with ancient ruins and much greenery, the Ancient Agora was the center of Athens in antiquity, the place where political gatherings and juries would take place.

At first, the Agora had private houses, until it was reorganized by tyrant Pisistratus 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 and fountains and built a temple to the Olympia gods.
In the following century, the Athenians constructed public buildings, and temples to Hephaestus, Zeus and Apollo and planted trees.

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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.

In 86 BC, the troops of Sylla plundered Athens causing major destruction to the buildings of the Agora. However, Athens flourished again during the reigns of Octavian August (27 BC-14 AD) and Hadrian (117 AD-138 AD). An odeon and two temples for the worship of the imperial family were built in the central square of the Agora, while the Temple of Ares (Mars) was transferred there from the area of Pallini, too.

The invasion of the Heruli (267 AD) destroyed the Agora's building all the way up from their foundations.
During the next reconstruction, the space was used for the opulent complexes of the urban vil

The first excavations in the site took place 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 until 1941.
From 1945 until this day, 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 are the temple of Hephaestus, which is the best preserved ancient temple in Greece, and the recently-renovated Stoa of Attalus.
The Stoa was actually a trade market constructed by the king of Pergamus, Attalus, between 159 and 138 BC.
Today, it serves as a museum and houses many interesting exhibits found during excavations in the Ancient Agora.

How to get there

There are many ways to reach the Ancient Agora from any location in Athens.

Tours: Discover the Ancient Agora 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 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 (Green Line) and Monastiraki (Blue Line and Green Line) Note that the Ancient Agora is located 3-5 minutes on foot from the metro. Get a map of the metro here.

By bus/trolleybus: The closest bus stop is "Monastiraki". Check the routes and the official timetables on OASA Telematics.



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