Friday, February 3, 2012

The Agora

The ancient Agora is northeast of the Acropolis, and thus a natural next site for Mom and me to visit.  Since my other trips to Athens were in the summer, the Acropolis tended to be the only large outside site we could stomach.  But in Nov., that crazy summer heat is totally gone and thus, you can explore a bit more.  So I had never been to the Agora and I now realize that was a tragedy.

So the Acropolis is home to the temples of the ancient Greeks and the Agora housed their markets, courthouses (they invented trial by jury) and other government buildings, and private housing.  Public meetings to discuss ostracizing someone were held here.  Ostracism was decided by vote -- very democratic and something I'd like to suggest reintroducing for certain members of Congress.

The Stoa of Attalos is probably the most impressive building, even though it was rebuilt in 1956 (the original building was destroyed in 267 and parts of the building were used in the ancient city walls.  The 1956 rebuilding was very true to the original design, so it gives you a really good impression of what the overall Agora was like then.  Now it houses a museum.

There are also a couple of temples.  The most impressive (it creates a lovely view from the Acropolis) is the Temple of Hephestus.  And the only "modern" building is a Byzantine Greek Basilica.


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Temple of Hephestus

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The Stoa

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The church

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View from the Acropolis towards the Agora

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View from the Agora towards the Acropolis

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