About Ancient Agora of Athens
The Ancient Agora of Athens is an archaeological site located beneath the northwest slope of the Acropolis. The word “agora” applies to an assembly of people and by extend marks the gathering place. In modern Greek the term means “marketplace”.
Ancient Agora of Athens history
The Ancient Agora of Athens was a market, a meeting place and the social, political and commercial hub of the ancient city. Whilst initial developed in the sixth century BC, the Ancient Agora of Athens was destroyed, rebuilt and renovated several times, including attacks by the Persians in 480BC, the Romans and by the Scandinavian tribe known as the Herulians in 267BC.
The Ancient Agora of Athens was the primary meeting ground for Athenians, where members of democracy congregated affairs of the state, where business was conducted, a place to socialise, and watch performers and listen to famous philosophers. The importance of the Athenian agora revolved around religion. The agora was a very sacred place, in which holiness is laid out in the architecture of the ground in which it lay upon.
The layout of the agora was centered around the Panathenaic Way, a road that ran through the middle of Athens and to the main gate of the city, Dipylon This road was considered tremendously sacred, serving as a travel route for the Panathenaic festival, which was held in the honor of the goddess Athena every four years.
The agora was also famously known for housing the Temple of Hephaestus, the Greek god of metalworking and craftsmen. This temple is still in great condition to this day. Other temples priorly standing in the agora include honor for Zeus, Athena, Apollo, and Ares
Ancient Agora of Athens today
Despite its turbulent history, the Ancient Agora of Athens houses several fascinating sites, including the stunning fifth century BC Temple of Hephaestus. It is also home to the remains of several covered walkways or “stoas” such as the famous Stoa of Zeus where Socrates is said to have debated and met with other philosophers.
A good way to get your bearings within the Ancient Agora of Athens is to start by visiting the Agora Museum, which offers more information on the site.
Getting to Ancient Agora of Athens
The Agora archaeological site is located within the historic center of the city. It’s nestled just underneath the imposing Acropolis, and nearby to Monastiraki Square and Plaka.
If travelling by metro, you can take lines 1 or 3 to Monastiraki, and line 1 to Thiseio – both within a very short walking distance of the site.
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