Any visitor to Athens is obliged to visit or at least scroll around the Agora. Many of the roads lead to it, or at least pass through it, and it was the social meeting place, notice board and shopping center of the city. In antiquity the Agora was a chaotic place, as is today toe surrounding area: a constant bustle as the Athenians would go about their business, or meet to discuss politics, philosophy or the latest scandals.
This is why agora in antiquity, meant “gather around and talk, philosophize, learn what is new”. In the Agora’s open space parades, athletic events or theatrical performances would take place. The agora had a central role in Athenian live. Administrative buildings were constructed here but also important temples dedicated to gods, like the Hephaisteion, the temple dedicated to Hephaestus, god of construction and the forge and Athena Ergani, the protector of craftsmen.
This temple is the only one in the whole of Greece that still has the roof on top, so probably the god of construction did a very good job!!! The Bouleuterion is also located here, the building where the Athenians worshiped Rea, the Great Mother, but also used the building as the record office of Athens. Financial accounts, lists of citizens and the official set of weights and measures used to keep the market trader honest were kept inside this building.
It was also the meeting place of the committee that decided the agenda for the assembly of the Athenians. But in this area stand also one of the oldest shopping mall in the world, the stoa of Attalos. A restored building by the American school of classical studies, which had a public character with 21 shops on the ground and first floor where you cloud buy almost everything: figs, roses, fishes, pottery, water-clocks, even witnesses for your trial!!!!
So if Athens was the city leading the world into tomorrow, the Agora was the beating heart which powered the city
Visit Athens, the only city named after an ancient goddess and learn about all its myths and legends in the most fun way.
Athens is unlike many Greek cities in that its layout is unplanned-so much so that other Greeks sometimes use “Attic” (name of the prefecture of Athens) as an adjective for unplanned growth.
Join our ancient Athens tours to find your way out of the labyrinth of the city with the help of one of our escorts and at the same time enjoy the relaxed touring on segways so as to take as many photos as you like.
As in every ancient city, workmen in the same trades tend to cluster in the same area, making it easier to ask for help when needed. It also means that some streets of the city have nick-name like the street of the sword smiths. Pot-makers though, were so common in antiquity, that a whole area in the NE of Athens was named after them-the Kerameikon. The river that runs through the area helped the earth to become good material for the creation of potteries.
The area of the Kerameikon, though, outside the walls was a cemetery. Burial within the city walls was forbidden. Many burials of a family were grouped together, just outside the Dipylon gate, located at KErameikos.
If you feel that the summer in the city is unbearable, then a jog or a walk or even better a scroll on segways through the National Gardens that begin next to Syntagma Square is a great way to feel like you have left the city behind. As you go through the surrounding greenery, you will feel cleansed by the fresh pines cent and rewarded with a stunning view. Cross the peaceful and cool gardens aiming for the Panathinaikon stadium, better known as the Kallimarmaro, meaning in a free translation, good quality marble stadium, which hosted the inaugural modern Olympic Games in 1896.