The ancient public square in Athens constructed during the Roman era was known as the Roman Agora. It was one of Athens' major meeting places and was once home to the city's principal market.
On the north side of the Acropolis, the Roman Agora is located in Plaka. It's only a short walk from the Ancient Agora, which is bigger and more beautiful. The city's main square was erected during the first century BC.
History of the Roman Agora
The Roman Agora was constructed between 19 BC and 11 BC, according to archaeologists. It was built by Augustus, the first Roman Emperor, and later enhanced by Hadrian, the second Roman Emperor. The Agora was a kind of courtyard that measured 100 square meters during its golden age.The site was also home to the city's main marketplace, which had been relocated from the Ancient Agora. The public latrines were on the east side of the square.
A massive open courtyard surrounded by a marble Ionic colonnade and paved in marble. There were two propyleas (gateways), the main one being on the west and the secondary one on the east.
Important Monuments of the site
- Gate of Athena Archegetis. It is located on the western side of the Roman Agora. The colossal entrance, which features four Doric columns on a socle of Pentelic marble, has a row of four Doric pillars. It was constructed in 11 B.C. with the donations of Julius Caesar and Augustus and was dedicated by the People (Demos) of Athens to their patroness, Athena Archegetis.
- East Propylon. The four Ionic columns of the east entry to the Roman Agora were made of gray Hymettian marble. It was constructed in 19-11 B.C.
- Fethiye Djami. In 1456 A.D., the Ottoman mosque was built on the northern side of the Roman Agora. It was erected over a Byzantine basilica dating in the first age of Christians.
- Agoranomion. Built during the Roman period, it was part of a rectangular complex to the east of the ancient agora. It contains the remains of three doors with arched lintels and a broad staircase. The architrave is inscribed with the words Divi Augusti and Athena Archegetis, indicating that it was erected in dedication to the two.
- The public latrines (Vespasianae) were situated in a rectangular structure with an antechamber and a square hall with benches having holes on all four sides, as well as a sewing pipe at the bottom. Dated to the 1st century A.D.
Present day of the Roman Agora
Only a tiny proportion of the columns are still standing today, and the public outhouse is mostly destroyed.
The "Tower of the Winds," which can be found on the western side of the Agora, is almost completely preserved. During the second century BC, this polygonal monument was constructed and used as a water clock and sundial. Because it was used as a chapel during the sixth century, the structure remained standing.
The Roman Agora has yet to be fully excavated, but with some creativity, tourists may get a sense of what it was like before it became a sleepy archaeological site.
Where to Find the site?
At the intersection of Aiolou and Diogenous Streets. In the area between the Acropolis and Monastiraki Square
The Roman Agora is wheelchair accesible.
Every day between 8am and 5pm.
Metro: Monastiraki, lines 1 and 3.
Prices vary depending on the different ticket packages you wish to acquire. For example you can purchase a multi entrance tickets for the main athens attractions, including Roman Agora for 35euros per person including skip-the-line access to 7 of the city's top archaeological sites, including the Acropolis, Roman Agora, and Ancient Agora.
Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments (85 m)
Hadrian's Library (138 m)
Anafiotika (239 m)
Monastiraki (258 m)