The Roman Agora (Market of Caesar and Augustus) is located to the east of the original Classic Greek Agora and to the north of the Acropolis . The easiest way to get to the site is by metro. Get off at Monastiraki station, exit to the square and you’ll be able to see the entrance to Hadrian’s Library to the right. A bit more to the right is the Roman Agora (the entrance is close to the Tower of Winds, though).
According to an inscription on the western gate, the Roman Agora was built in the 1st century B.C. with the funds provided by Julius Caesar and Augustus.
Opening hours and tickets
The Roman Agora is open, during winter, every day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. During the summer, you can visit it daily (except on Mondays) from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
A ticket costs €2 (adult) but you can also use the €12 combined ticket purchased at any of the other sites within the “archeological park” of Athens. If you visit Athens during winter, entrance to the Roman Agora (and the Tower of Winds) is free every Sunday between Nov 1 and March 31.
The Roman Agora consists of an open-air courtyard, surrounded by colonnades on all the sides. On the eastern side, there were shops. The main entrance was on the west (The Gate of Athena Archegetis) and the second entrance was on the east.
The Roman Agora apparently became the main market in the city , while the Ancient Agora had become an archeological park by that time.
The Tower of Winds
This is the most important building within the Roman Agora, located east of the Agora. It is an octagonal Pentelic marble clocktower, combining the features of sundials, a water clock and a wind vane. Some historians say was built around 50BC but other sources say it might have been built in the 2nd century, before the rest of the forum. It was designed by the famous astronomer Andronikos of Kyrrhos.
The tower is 12 m high and in antiquity it was topped by a weathervane-like Triton that indicated the wind direction. Below there are the eight wind deities: Boreas , Kaikias, Eurus , Apeliotes , Notus , Livas (, Zephyrus , and Skiron. The interior was a water clock , driven by the water coming from the Acropolis.
In early Christian times, the tower was used as a bell tower for the Byzantine Church, while in the Ottoman era, it became a tekke.
The Gate of Athena Archegetis
It is considered the second most important structure in the Roman Agora and was built in 11 BC. It is located in the west part of the Roman Agora and was made of four Doric columns and a base of marble. The monument was dedicated by the Athenians to their patroness Athena Archegetis.
Other buildings in the Roman Agora:
- The East Propylon: is the eastern entrance to the Roman Agora and was built between 19-11 BC.
- The Fethiye Mosque: it was built in the 15th century and is located on the northern side of the Roman Agora. It was built on the ruins of a Byzantine basilica. After the Greek independence , it was used as a military bakery until the 20th century. Now it’s used for storage of the artifacts found in the Agora and on the Acropolis.
- Agoranomion: a rectangular building, located to the east of the Roman Agora. It still preserved the façade.
- The public latrines
More photos from the Roman Agora
All photos by Cristina Puscas and may not be used without permission.