Roman Agora & Tower of the Winds

sights / Historic

Roman Agora & Tower of the Winds information

Athens , Greece
cnr Pelopida & Eolou, Monastiraki
+30 210 324 5220
Getting there
Metro: Monastiraki
adult/child €2/1, free with Acropolis pass
Opening hours
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Entrance to the Roman Agora is through the well-preserved Gate of Athena Archegetis , which is flanked by four Doric columns. It was erected sometime during the 1st century AD and financed by Julius Caesar. The well-preserved, extraordinary Tower of the Winds was built in the 1st century BC by a Syrian astronomer named Andronicus.

The octagonal monument of Pentelic marble is an ingenious construction that functioned as a sundial, weather vane, water clock and compass. Each side represents a point of the compass, and has a relief of a figure floating through the air, which depicts the wind associated with that particular point. Beneath each of the reliefs are the faint markings of sundials. The weather vane, which disappeared long ago, was a bronze Triton that revolved on top of the tower. The Turks allowed dervishes to use the tower.

The rest of the ruins are hard to make sense of. To the right of the entrance are the foundations of a 1st-century public latrine. In the southeast area are the foundations of a propylon and a row of shops.