The Lyceum of Aristotle was one of three big gymnasiums of ancient Athens. The gymnasiums were areas for spiritual growth and physical education areas and later evolved into an early form of today's universities.
Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )
1996 The excavation revealed the gymnasium.
Ottoman era (1453- 1821)
Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)
Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)
Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)
86 π.Χ. After its destruction by the invasion of Sulla, it was rebuilt and had more amenities (e.g. more hypocausts).
Classical era (478-323 BC)
The Palestra was founded during the second half of 4th century BC.
335 BC Aristotle founded his school.
Archaic era (800-479 BC)
The gymnasium existed as early as the late archaic period.
Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)
Prehistory (-1100 BC)
What I can see
During the construction works of the Museum of Contemporary Art, the foundations of the Paleastra (arena) of the Lyceum of Aristotle were discovered. As shown by the building’s remains, it had a patio, surrounded by 3.5- 4m wide arcades on its three sides. Behind them, spacious symmetrical rectangular rooms were developed.
What I can't see
The main entrance of the Palaestra was probably on its south side, which has not yet been excavated. The building sustained structural alterations over the following centuries. It was one of three big gymnasiums of ancient Athens. The gymnasiums were areas for spiritual growth and physical education areas and later evolved into an early form of today’s universities. Aristotle’s Lyceum is one of the most important monuments of the intellectual history of the Western world. The name “Lyceum” comes from the sanctuary of the Lyceum of Apollo, which existed in the area. Apollo Lyceus was worshiped, probably, as a god of shepherds and protected their flocks from wolves. The School of Aristotle was also named “Peripatetic (=Walking) School” as the teacher used to teach his disciples while walking. In antiquity, the area was a lush suburb, which was often visited by Socrates and his disciples. Aristotle was born in 384 BC in Stageira, Halkidiki (Kingdom of Macedonia – Northern Greece) and studied in Athens. A student of Plato and a teacher of Alexander the Great, he was a prolific writer and is considered one of the leading philosophers in the world.
- Address: Rigillis St.
Mpanou E., Sakka N., (2012), Αρχαιολογικός χώρος Λυκείου [Archaeological Site of Lykeion], Odysseus, Ministry of Culture,
Last visit: 4/7/2015
Banou E., Stamoudi A., (2014), The Palestra of the Lykeion Gymnasium, in Navigating the routes of Art and Culture, Part 1, Athens, Ministry of Culture and Sports, p.p. 51-52
Travlos J., (1980), Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Athens, New York: Hacker Art Book