In Athens, it is never far from one excavation site to the next. We visited the Agorá of Athens almost at the end of our trip, not without getting a “What, we are going to go to another excavation site !?”.
The Agorá was a market and meeting place during ancient Greek history. Here the political, economic and social life of Athens was buzzing. A wide road, the Panathenaea Road, crossed the Agorá of Athens from south-east to north-west. It was one of the main roads for the people of Athens. The street was also used as a venue for sports events and processions, spectators could follow the events on wooden stands. Even today you can see the holes for the posts of the stands in the ground.
At the heydey of the complex, many sacred buildings were located at the Agorá. Today, only a few remains are visible, and various information panels help the visitor understand the importance of the buildings and its original appearance. One of these buildings is still very well preserved and left us particularly impressed:
The temple of Hephaestus is one of the better preserved Greek temples. Construction began as early as 449 BC at what were then the western outskirts of Athens. That was also the area where metal processing and foundries were located. Therefore, the temple was consecrated to Hephaestus, the god of blacksmithing.
The temple complex stands on a small hill on the western edge of the Agorá of Athens. The construction is 13.71 meters wide and 31.78 meters long. A total of 38 columns, 6 on each front side and 13 on the long sides, characterise the appearance of the temple today. In contrast to many other temples, there are hardly any sculptures on the outer front.
Today you can still see an almost complete building from the outside. Even the roof is almost completely intact. I thought it was very impressive to walk around the temple and actually experience these dimensions.
This visit has impressed me more than visiting the Acropolis. The place was wonderfully quiet, no crowds flooded through the grounds and you could really gather a lot of knowledge and experience the past.
Adrianou 24, Τ.Κ.
Opening hours (as of 2016):
Daily from 8am to 3pm
Entry fees (as of 2016):
Adults: 8,00 €
Reduced: 4.00 €