The Ancient City of Athens is a photographic archive of the archaeological and architectural remains of ancient Athens (Greece). It is intended primarily as a resource for students and teachers of classical art & archaeology, civilization, languages, and history as a supplement to their class lectures and reading assignments and as a source of images for use in term papers, projects, and presentations. We also hope that this site will be useful to all who have an interest in archaeological exploration and the recovery, interpretation, and preservation of the past.
The Acropolis was both the fortified citadel and state sanctuary of the ancient city of Athens. Although the great building programs of the 5th century B.C. have disturbed or covered many of the earlier remains, there is still a great deal of archaeological evidence attesting to the importance of the Acropolis…
The Ancient Agora of Athens is the heart of ancient Athens, the focus of political, commercial, administrative and social activity, the religious and cultural centre, and the seat of justice.
Hadrian’s Arch is the triumphal arch which lies on an ancient street that led from the old city of Athens to the new, Roman section, built by Hadrian. The central arched opening of the monument is supported by pilasters crowned with Corinthian capitals. Similar, but taller pilasters flank the outer corners. The whole monument is made of Pentelic marble.
Kerameikos was named after the community of the potters (kerameis) who occupied the whole area along the banks of river Eridanos.
Hadrian’s Library – the rectangular building of the Library comprises a Corinthian propylon on the west side, an open peristyle courtyard, three projecting conches on each of the long sides, a library, study and lecture halls. It was built in A.D. 132 by emperor Hadrian.
Lusikrates Monument – Choregic monument erected on the west side of the Street of the Tripods, by Lysikrates, in 335/34 B.C., according to an inscription preserved on the architrave. The circular building rests on a square podium of poros stone (2,93 m. long on each side), and consists of six Corinthian columns of Pentelic marble alternating with panels of Hymettian marble Lysikrates monument is the only choregic monument preserved almost complete, and is the most interesting feature of the modern Lysikratous Square.
The Pnyx – the function of the large, theatre-like area on the hill west of the Acropolis had, in the past, been explained by a number of different theories, before it was securely identified as the Pnyx, the place where the Assembly of the Athenians held its meetings.
The Roman Agora of Athens – large building measuring 111 x 98 m., comprising a spacious rectangular courtyard surrounded by stoas, shops and storerooms. It has an east, Ionic propylon and a west, Doric propylon, known as the Gate of Athena Archegetis. The most important monuments of the site are:
Gate of Athena Archegetis – stands on the west side of the Roman Agora. The monumental entrance has a row of four Doric columns and a socle made of Pentelic marble. It was constructed in 11 B.C
East Propylon – the east entrance to the Roman Agora had a row of four Ionic columns made of gray Hymettian marble. It was built in 19-11 B.C.
Fethiye Djami – the Turkish mosque lies on the north side of the Roman Agora. It was constructed in 1456 A.D. on the ruins of an Early Christian basilica.
Syntagma Square is back and better then ever. Well maybe not better than ever. It was probably at it’s best in the early 1900’s when there were no cars and buses whizzing around it and it was shaded by large trees.
But with the re-routing of the traffic, the opening of the new metro and the removal of the wooden billboard covered walls that hid the construction site that was once Athens most popular platia, Syntagma looks better then it has in many years.
The Square has a long history. It seems every major event in Greece’s modern history has either been mourned or celebrated here. It has held some of the biggest political pep-rallys that have ever been seen on the planet. In the nineteen forties it was the sight of a battle between the communists and the right-wing government.
When the Military Junta that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974 fell and Constantine Karamanlis came back from exile in Paris to lead Greece back to democracy, it was in Syntagma that he first spoke to his newly free constituents.
To appreciate the absence of Syntagma for all these years while they built what is probably the world’s most beautiful Metro station, imagine Greenwich Village without Washington Square or Boston without the Commons.
It was a large public square with tree shaded walkways and benches and cafes where Athenians and travelers could talk politics, sports or whatever it is people talk about when they are hanging around in squares.
At the top of Syntagma, which means Constitution, is the Parliament Building, formerly the King’s Palace, built between 1836 and 1840 by King Otto and financed by his father Ludwig I of Bavaria.
The original idea was to put the king’s palace on the Acropolis but luckily this never happened.
The classical style of architecture, known as neo-classical which originated in Greece and is the dominant style of all the old public buildings, houses and mansions of Athens, was actually re-imported into Greece in the late eighteen hundreds from Europe and then modified (improved) by Greek architects.
The tomb of the unknown soldier is guarded by Evzones, the elite soldiers who also guard the Palace and are chosen for their height and strength. They are like the guards at Buckingham Palace with the big furry hats and are treated the same way by tourists who come to take their pictures and see if they blink.
Every so often they do a little march and dance to break the monotony of standing still all day and they occasionally do this little kick step with their sarouchi shoes with the pom-poms. The pleated skirt, called a fustinella is Albanian in origin and was introduced by King.