Stoa of Attalos
The Stoa of Attalos, a 2nd century market and meeting place, was a gift to Athens from King Attalos II of Pergamon. The building was to show his appreciation of the time he spent studying philosophy in the city. Today, it’s one of the impressive stoae (covered walkways) in the Athenian Agora, which is located just northwest of the Acropolis in central Athens. You’ll marvel at this huge restored two-story building made of limestone facades and marble columns. It was the primary shopping center in the Agora for over three centuries, from it’s construction around 150 B.C. until its destruction by the Herulians in 267 A.D.
This elaborate double colonnade is more than 377 long and 65 feet wide (115 meters long by 20 meters wide), and originally housed 42 shops. It was restored in the mid-1950s by as many as 150 master masons, carpenters and steel workers, incorporating remains of the original building. Quarries in Paraeus and on Mt. Penteli were opened to provide material similar to the original limestone and marble.
Enjoy the cool breezes which flow through the building and protect you from the afternoon sun. Before entering, check out the sculptures of historical and mythological figures from the 3rd and 4th centuries, just outside the museum.
The Stoa of Attalos houses the small but fascinating Museum of the Ancient Agora, which is takes about an hour to explore. Discover artifacts from ancient Greece, including artifacts of clay, glass and bronze as well as coins and sculptures from the 4th millenium BC to the 6th century. There are also collections of pottery from the Byzantine era and the Turkish occupation. The museum is on the first floor, in ten refurbished ancient stores.
The Stoa of Attalos is in the city center. Access it on public transportation or walk there from the Acropolis. Admission is covered in the entry cost for the Acropolis, and the site is open daily.