The Ancient Agora of Athens

ancient-agora-athens The Ancient Agora of Athens has been the centre of ancient Athens since the 6th century BC, during the time of Peisistratus and especially Cleisthenes. Many of the early buildings date back to around 500 BC, among them the altar of the Twelve Gods which was also an asylum and a starting point for measuring kilometres.

A part of the river Eridanus was boxed then, in order to cross Pantalonaioa Street, the central avenue of the Ancient city that crossed the Agora and which was followed every four years by the procession of the great Athenian festival of the same name (Panathinaea) . Stone columns demarcated the public space, while the Church of the Municipality was moved to Pnyx and several of the theatrical events on the southern foothills of the Acropolis. The first building “explosion” begins, shortly after the triumph over the Persians in Salamis and the rise of the Athenian hegemony.

In 1931, the American School of Classical Studies in Athens undertook excavations at the Agora. The project was quite difficult as an entire neighborhood of the city had to be expropriated and demolished. Excavations began on May 25 east of the Temple of Hephaestus.

In 1954, the surface of the Agora was cleaned and in 1956 the restoration of the Stoa of Attalos and the renovation of the church of Agios Apostolos were completed. In the 80’s the excavations continued further north, above Adrianou Street where the western end of Poikili Stoa was located. Between 2006 and 2007, three buildings were demolished at this point and the eastern end of the Various Stoa was revealed. Excavations are currently ongoing in this area.


During the prehistoric era the Agora was a place of residence and burial, while it was used as a public space. The Ancient Agora of Athens was looted and destroyed many times, first by the Persians in 480 BC, later by the Romans under Sillas in 86 BC, then by the Herulians in 267 AD. and finally the Slavic raiders in 580 AD, when this area was abandoned.

During the 10th century it was allegedly re-inhabited and around 1000 AD the church of the Holy Apostles was built. New destruction followed in 1204 by raiders of Leos Sgouros, the ruler of Nafplion at that time, and new desolation followed.

During the Greek Revolution of 1821, the last disaster occurred. Thus, the 190th century finds the ancient market literally buried under the then densely populated modern Athens, which in 1834 welcomed King Otto to declare the city the capital of the kingdom of Greece.


agora In the 19th century, the first excavations by the Archaeological Society and German archaeologists began in the area of ​​the ancient market. But the systematic archaeological excavation research starts from the American School of Classical Studies in 1931 to 1941 (first period), from 1946 to 1960 (second period), in 1969 (third period) and from 1980 until today .

The first excavations of the area of ​​the ancient market began in the 19th century by the Archaeological Society and by German archaeologists. However, the systematic archaeological excavation research started from the American School of Classical Studies in 1931 until 1941, (first period), from 1946 until 1960, (second period), in 1969 (third period) and from 1980 when continues to this day.

Archaeological Museum of the Ancient Agora

stoa of Attalos A museum was created in 1957, with the restoration of the Stoa of Attalos, on the ground floor of which it was installed.

This archaeological museum houses and exhibits findings that have come to light from the archaeological excavations that have been made at the archaeological site of the Ancient Agora of Athens.

It extends west and southwest of the museum to the ancient temple of Hephaestus. The exhibition space of the Museum is distinguished inside, which includes four sections-spaces, and the external atrium.