The ancient Agora of Athens can be found in the northern slope of the Acropolis and it is a great destination to go for history lovers. The ancient Agora is an enormous green area between Monastiraki and the Acropolis and it is among the few archaeological sites in the world with a train running through it.
The Agora of Athens was a marketplace and most of the stalls, shrines, and buildings in the area are now in ruins. The Agora of Athens was the center of life during the ancient times in Athens as Pericles, Socrates, Plato, and lots of philosophers once gathered, talked and who knows they might have chilled with Pasatempo and fistikia.
The ancient Agora of Athens offers tourists the chance to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city while exploring a large archaeological space surrounded by iconic ruins and several winding pathways. You can easily visit the ancient Agora from the Acropolis and you will find lots of cafes, shops, and restaurants that you can explore. Some of the best places not to miss while in the ancient Agora are listed below.
Temple of Hephaestus (460-415 BC) is also in Agora of Athens
This is among the top destination to go while in Ancient Agora and it will leave you mesmerized. The temple is an ancient building as it was commissioned by Pericles and opened in 415BC which was two years before the Parthenon and other major building projects of the Golden Age Athens started. You are going to find the temple on the small hill that is direct across the Stoa of Attalos. The building is among the most photographed buildings in Athens after Parthenon. The building is also among the most intact ancient buildings that you can explore and this is mainly because it was converted from a pagan temple to a church. It was thought that the temple was dedicated to the mythical King Theseus but it was later refuted. The temple was named after Hephaestus, the God of volcanoes and metal workers and you will find ruins of workshops and foundries that were excavated in the area.
Did you know that in Agora of Athens you can find Stoa of Attalos (159 – 138 BC)
You will easily notice this building if you stand on the Acropolis or sit in one of the cafes or restaurants located on lower Adrianou Street. The Stoa of Attalos was built during the second century but the building found there is a reconstruction of the ancient building and was completed in 1956 by the American School of Classical Studies. You are going to see the ruins of the original building but the building is now used as an archaeological site. Although the building there is not the original building, it is mind-blowing and houses fascinating artifacts from the Neolithic to the Ottoman periods. The original building was constructed by King Attalos II of Pergamon that ruled between 159BC and 138BC before it was demolished by Heruli in 267.
Byzantine Church of the Holy Apostles
You are going to find the restored Byzantine Church of the Holy Apostles that was constructed in 1000 AD in the upper region of the Ancient Agora. The church along with the Temple of Hephaestus is the only building that is still intact in the ancient Agora. The church has a byzantine architecture and you will find pieces of marble from ancient temples and buildings that were demolished by the early Christians because they were pagan. The church was constructed on the ruins of a second-century Nymphaeum which is a monument that honors the nymphs. The church was also restored during the late 19th century as new extensions were added but they were later removed during the restoration work in 1950 which makes it look like it was originally. The church houses some 17th and 18th-century wall frescoes that you can explore.
There is a plethora of monuments and ruins of ancient buildings throughout the ancient Agora of Athens such as the remains of the ancient streets. You are going to find trees and wildlife in the ancient streets which makes it look like you are in a park.
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