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The Athenian Agora

Listed under Archaeological Sites in Athens, Greece.

Photo of The Athenian Agora
Photo by mikelyvers
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There is something special for the holiday traveller to be able to say that they have walked in the footsteps of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the great and good of ancient times. There is no strict path that you can take around the Agora - and the contrast of having modern day shops and cafes amongst ruins can be shocking. But the entire city of Athens is one huge site of ancient ruins, all too painfully revealed when building of the recent underground railway. The best way to enjoy it is by walking, and if possible recruiting a private guide or taking a tour - however much you may blanch at the idea of organised tourism, you will still learn so much more this way - unless, that is, you can follow your guide book religiously. Best time to go is during the spring and early summer. The centre of the city becomes unbearably hot and smoggy during July and August.

Written by  Pat Papadopoulou.

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Athens Ancient Centre

The Agora was the ancient centre of the city of Athens. The seat of justice, and the location of commercial, administrative, cultural and religious activity. The site has been occupied since the Late Neolithic period, around 3000BC, when it was used as a residential area, and after a series of reconstructions it took its present rectangular form. Later the Athenian civic centre was relocated and the Agora resumed its residential use.

The first excavations of the site began in 1859 and have continued intermittently until today. The site is home to several temples and important monuments, notably the Stoa of Zeus, which was erected in the 5th century BC to honour those that fought for the freedom of the city and is said to be where Socrates met his friends and followers.

Part of the agora has now been rebuilt and landscaped to serve as a museum to house finds from the site

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