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Aerides (Tower of the Winds)

The Tower of the Winds or Horologium of Andronikos is a small marble structure in Roman Agora.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    It has been used as a repository for antiquities and has become a protected monument.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

    It becomes part of the adjacent mosque and Dervish tekke (place of prayer).

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

    It has been used as a Christian baptistery. Outside the NE entrance, there was a Christian cemetery.

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

    Constructed in the 1st century BC or the 2nd century. B.C., according to Kienast.

    47 BC Constructed.

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

The Tower of the Winds or Horologium of Andronikos of Cyrrhus is a small (12.8m-tall) octagonal marble structure in Roman Agora. Crowned by a marble, ornate, well preserved conical roof. Under the roof and on each of the eight sides, flying male figures can be seen. They constitute a relief that forms a fascinating and rare frieze featuring the winds as deities. If you look closer, you will see that the northern winds are dressed with warm clothes and wear boots. They carry basins that contain hail and rain. In contrast, southern winds are dressed more lightly, carry flowers, grains and a stern thereby suggesting ideal weather conditions for navigation.

What I can't see

We cannot see the components, gears, indicators and high-technology mechanisms allowed for Athenians get information on the phases of the moon, the time, the direction of the wind and the solstices. Today, it is hard to imagine how this peaceful district of Plaka was once the bustling hub of Ancient Athens. The clock tower stood at this very crossroads and had two openings: 1. Entrance, 2. Information on meteorological, astronomical and time-related issues, and 3. Exit. There was a 24-hour hydraulic clock inside, usefull when the day was cloudy and sundial on each side. When the day was sunny there was no reason to enter the tower. The clock that stood at the top of the Agora provided such information also on its external surface. Did this excessive need for accuracy really exist in ancient times? Of course it did! Thanks to that clock, the merchants trading in the Agora were able to know the exact time they would expect their merchandise to get to the Port of Piraeus and make sure it would get there while the citizens could calculate the time until the next parliament session. As for the sailors, they were able to determine whether or not it would be safe to leave on their next journey. This clock can be considered as the ancestor of all city clock towers seen on town halls, churches, parliament buildings and other landmarks of cities in the Western world.


  • Address: Roman Agora


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