Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search in posts
Search in pages

Library of Hadrian

The Library of Hadrian is public gathering place of the Roman times and is impressive for its size.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1835 The Ottonian barracks were built.

    1843 At this point Dimitris Kallergis roused the officers for the revolution of September 3 against Otto, aimed at establishing a constitution.

    1884 The Bazaar (market) was completely destroyed by fire.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

    132 AD Built around that time.

    267 AD Destrοyed by the Heruli.

    412 AD Repaired.

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  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 Library of Hadrian (a Roman emperor who admired and loved Athens) was an impressive building, which can be seen in the surviving propylon with Corinthian columns. The building had a propylon with 4 marble columns and a marble wall of the facade. Rows of 7 marble columns were developed to the right and left of the propylon. At the top of the columns, there were statues of Nike. The term “library” is conventional. In fact, it is a public gathering place for Hadrian in Athens, with a library and statues of the imperial family. Therefore, it may have also been a place of imperial worship. The library was located on the east side of the building, toward Aeolou Street. On the northeast and southeast sides one can find benches, remains of amphitheatres, which show that lectures used to be held here. 

What I can't see

The building is 119 x 89 metres. It had an interior courtyard and arcades. Pausanias describes it in detail, mentioning the elaborate decor, statues, gold plating, garden, cistern, 100 columns of the peristyle of the inner courtyard, lecture halls, amphitheatres, reading room and other auxiliary spaces. In earlier periods, during the Hellenistic and republican – the first years of the imperial period of Rome, there were houses (24 building blocks) here that were later expropriated to create the library. Starting in the 5th century, Christian churches were also built. One of them, Agii Asomati (11th century) belonged to a noble family. After the revolution, it was damaged, and was later demolished due to excavations. In this area there were many more buildings through the centuries, such as schools, as well as Elgin’s clock, which he donated to Athens to redeem himself for his destruction and theft of antiquities. It was later converted into a prison. In the Ottoman period, the library was the Bazaar (market) and the seat of the Voivode. 


  • Address: Areos St.


Unsigned, (2012), Βιβλιοθήκη Αδριανού, [Hadrian’s Library], Odysseus, Ministri of Culture

Last visit 1/9/2013

Yohalas T., Kafetzaki Τ., (2013), Αθήνα, Ιχνηλατώντας την πόλη με οδηγό την ιστορία και τη λογοτεχνία [Athens, Tracing the city guided by history and literature], ESTIA Bookstore

Foka Ι., Valavanis P., (1994), Περίπατοι στην Αθήνα και την Αττική, τόποι, θεοί, μνημεία [Strolls in Athens and Attica, places, gods, monuments], Kedros


Camp J., (2001), The Archaeology of Athens, Yale University Press, New Haven and London