They say Athens is the eye of Greece, the mother of arts and eloquence. A key component, which contributed a lot to this fame earned by Athens, was the Agoras of Athens. The literal meaning of the word Agora is an assembly or gathering place. As you can guess, these places were the major central public places, found in most of the ancient Greek cities. Athens was no exception to this, the Roman Agora being its most famed public place. In this article, we are going to go down the memory lane and learn a bit about the history of ancient Roman Agora of Athens. It is a perfect place to visit if Athens is listed in your travel itinerary for this year!
History of the Roman Agora
So, let’s see, what made the Roman Agora such a key place in the ancient city of Athens?
You rarely come across a historical place which was built by not one, but two emperors. The name of these emperors was Julius Ceasar and Ceasar Augustus. Both these emperors made considerable donations to the construction of this amazing agora.
The Roman Agora is also known as the Agora of Caesar and Augustus as well.
The major reason behind this contribution was the reconciliation efforts made by Augustus.
His visit to Athens led to the foundation of the Roman Agora in that period.
The first century BC was a period of political and economic instability in Athens. The Roman Agora was also built in the first century BC.
It is one of the most ancient places one can visit in the historic city of Athens.
One could enter the Roman Agora or market, via the gate of Athena Archegetis.
This large structure was a lot like the front entrance of a temple, situated on the western side of Roman Agora.
Old houses and ancient paintings which depict the ancient times are key features of the Roman Agora. Some of these houses go back as much as the Byzantine period!
Where is Roman Agora Located? (map)
It is always better to be exactly sure of the location of the Roman Agora when it comes to traveling in Athens.
You will have to ask people about the Market of Caesar and Augustus if you are desirous of visiting the Roman Agora.
This historical marker is located on the north side of Acropolis. This is the ancient citadel located on the rocky outcrop above the city of Athens.
Acropolis is quite a significant place itself in Greece, but let’s stick to the Roman Agora for now.
It connects to the Greek agora on the eastern side, a paved street connecting both agoras.
Roman Agora Sights
This isn’t an ordinary market.
The Roman Agora of Athens is a place riddled with the structures of historical significance which reflect, the artistic intellect of Athenians.
We mentioned the Gate of Athena Archegetis earlier. But there are some more fascinating sights in Roman Agora that you simply have to see if you are in Athens.
Tower of Winds, which is a marble tower, is probably the most famous building found in the Roman Agora.
However, this isn’t just some ordinary marble tower. It is an eight-sided structure, which is a combination water clock, sundial, and a weathervane.
This magnificent structure was built by Andronicus of Cyrrhus, who was a Macedonian astronomer.
This is a major tourist attraction in Athens, as well as a popular subject for painters to draw on their canvas boards.
Whether it was the Turks who used Tower of Winds as a hangout place or the Sufi’s who danced here often to mediated, Tower of Tinds has been an extremely important place for the natives.
Then there is the mosque of Fethiye Djami, which sits on the northern side of Roman Agora.
This Turkish mosque has been a witness to some of the key historical events and has been a part of few itself. If you are a fan of Turk architecture, you are bound to love this historical sight!
Other important buildings and structures include Agoranomion and Vespasianae.
Roman Agora – How to get there?
By this time, we are pretty sure that you are intensely intrigued by the amazing history of the Roman Agora of Athens.
Some of you might not be even able to wait and probably want to see this fascinating sight in Athens right now.
However, you need to calm down. You still don’t know how to get there, do you? And it can be a little taxing at times if you are in Athens but can’t reach the Roman Agora because you simply don’t know the way.
So, read carefully, some important information coming ahead!
There are four ways by which you can reach the Roman Agora if you are in Athens.
The cheapest way to get to the Roman Agora from the Athens center is via the subway, which costs about $2 and less than 7 minutes.
However, if you want to opt for the fastest way to the Roman Agora, you can book a taxi which will take you there in 4 minutes for $6.
Note that there is a direct bus service available as well, which takes the passenger to and from Athens and the Roman Agora.
The total distance between the center of Athens and the Roman Agora is 1km.
Read: How to get around Athens
Roman Agora Tickets Prices and Opening Hours
In winter, the opening hours are 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM.
However, in summer, the Roman Agora is open for visitors from 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM.
In one ticket, you can visit not only the Roman Agora but other archeological sites as well.
Some of these include major tourist attractions like Theatre of Dionysus, Kerameikos, Temple of Olympian Zeus and certain museums.
The price of this united ticket is 12€.
There is a free entrance for the minors who have a certified ID with them at the time of the visit.
The mystique nature associated with the ancient Roman agora can get you hooked at first sight. Find a budget-friendly place to stay through booking.com, and then visit this shrine of Greek secrets with a mindset to learn more about ancient Athens. Digging at the Roman agora, we can assure you that you are in for some quality enjoyment!
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