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Ancient Agora of Athens

Adrianou 24, Athina 105 55, Greece
+30 21 0321 0185
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Athens Tips Part 15 - The Agora Athens  Greece

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Sun - Sat 8am - 6:30pm

The Ancient Agora

It’s hard to believe this serene archaeological park, with evocative statues scattered among the wildflowers, oak, and olive trees, was once the beating commercial and political heart of ancient Athens. It’s where citizens came to shop, philosophize, pass laws, and make sacrifices to the gods. Fragments of all this whirling activity are on display at the on-site museum, housed in a photogenic colonnade: ballots used to vote, ‘ostraka’ used to ostracize persona non grata, water-clocks used to time speeches, jewelry, and votives buried with the dead. It’s a great place to introduce kids to the real life of the ancient Greeks, as they can run around among the ruins. Don’t miss the amazingly well-preserved Hephaisteion, a Doric temple built in the fifth century B.C.E., whose ornate pediments are sculpted with the labors of Hercules the Theseus. The temple was converted into a Christian church in the 7th century C.E. and later served as a burial ground for philhellenes who died in the Greek War of Independence.

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over 5 years ago

Athens Tips Part 15 - The Agora

Most people assume that if you visit one place in Athens, it has to be the Acropolis. I can't argue with the sentiment, but I can argue that the Agora is a much nicer place to visit, and it has some of the best spots to see the Acropolis. Once you get up the hill to the Acropolis, frankly it's a little dull. I think the temples look better from a distance, and most of the surface of the Acropolis is just covered in worn marble and piles of random rocks (which used to be parts of these structures). The Agora has one of the most well preserved temples on its site, the temple of Hephaestus. All of the walls are in excellent condition, and some of the roof is even intact. Best of all it's surrounded by beautiful gardens and bushes. Right now they're working to fix up many of the buildings on the Acropolis, but at the Agora the Stoa has been completely restored. The building looks fantastic and houses several museums, including a recently opened second floor with a great view. Historically the Agora is a very important place since it was (arguably) the home of democracy. The argument comes as many historians believe that this place was in fact not the first place to hold elections, but instead the first place to use ballots in an election. The secrets of the Agora have yet to be fully explored too, there is still digging going on, and regularly new finds are discovered.