Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ancient Agora, Athens

At the north side of the Acropolis is the ancient Agora. This was the center of social and commercial life in 400 BC. Excavation began in the 1930s. The temple Hephaisteion is remarkably well preserved. In fact, over the interior portion of the temple, the walls and roof are still intact.

The Tower of the Winds is part of the Roman Agora from the second century BC. Its purpose was a weather vane, represented by personifications of the eight winds, and a water clock. The building is 40 feet high and 26 feet in diameeter. All that remains of the water clock are a complex system of pipes.
Each side of the tower is a relief representing different winds and the promises of different conditions it brings. Above, Skiron, representing the Northwest wind, scatters ashes from an urn and Zephyros, representing the West wind, scatters flowers.
Above, Hadrian's Library, AD 132
The Stoa of Attalos was rebuilt in the 1950s using the original foundations and ancient materials, made possible by a donation from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. It's very helpful to imagine what these buildings looked like in their prime, over two thousand years ago.
One of the busts on display in the open portico of the stoa.

1 comment:

Will Finn said...

These are great photos. It's almost like being there. These sites must be amazing to see in person.