Roman Agora & Tower of the Winds

sights / Historic

Roman Agora & Tower of the Winds information

Athens , Greece
cnr Pelopida & Eolou
+30 210 324 5220
Getting there
Metro: Monastiraki
adult/child €2/free, with Acropolis pass free
Opening hours
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The entrance to the Roman Agora is through the well-preserved Gate of Athena Archegetis , flanked by four Doric columns. It was financed by Julius Caesar and erected sometime during the 1st century AD. 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 of the tower represents a point of the compass, with a relief of a floating figure representing the wind associated with that particular point. Beneath each of the reliefs are faint sundial markings. 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 quite bare. To the right of the entrance are foundations of a 1st-century public latrine. In the southeast area are foundations of a propylon (fortified tower) and a row of shops.