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Arch of Hadrian (Pili tou Adrianou), Athens

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Monument
The Arch of Hadrian, most commonly known in Greek as Hadrian's Gate, is a monumental gateway resembling – in some respects – a Roman triumphal arch. It spanned an ancient road from the center of Athens, Greece, to the complex of structures on the eastern side of the city that included the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It has been proposed that the arch was built to celebrate the adventus of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and to honor him for his many benefactions to the city, on the occasion of the dedication of the nearby temple complex in 131 or 132 AD. It is not certain who commissioned the arch, although it is probable that the citizens of Athens or another Greek group were responsible for its construction and design. There were two inscriptions on the arch, facing in opposite directions, naming both Theseus and Hadrian as founders of Athens. While it is clear that the inscriptions honor Hadrian, it is uncertain whether they refer to the city as a whole or to the city in two parts: one old and one new. The early idea, however, that the arch marked the line of the ancient city wall, and thus the division between the old and the new regions of the city, has been shown to be false by further excavation. The arch is located 325m southeast of the Acropolis.Construction and designMaterial and designThe entire monument is made of Pentelic marble, from Mt. Pentelikon, 18.2 km northeast of the arch. Pentelic marble was used for the Parthenon and many other notable structures in Athens, although its quality can vary significantly. The marble used for the arch is of a lower grade that had more inclusions than that used in the best Athenian buildings. The arch was constructed without cement or mortar from solid marble, using clamps to connect the cut stones. It is 18m high, 13.5m wide, and 2.3m in depth. Its design is fully symmetrical from front to back and side to side.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Nice to see old arch made by old civilization but does need any guid to see it and you can go there by walking  more »
  • Once believed monumental gate of the city, subsequent studies have catalogued among the Roman triumphal arches (although the structure is more streamlined than his fellows across what was once the Roman Empire) and speculated that it had been built to celebrate the entry of Hadrian in the city. Neilson indeed did much to beautify Athens, so much so that an entire part of the city was chased called Adrianapoli. It is also believed that the different written on 2 sides of the architrave above the arch (hard today to locate) could indicate the 2 different parts of the city: the older one and the new one created by Hadrian; but it is only one of many hypotheses. Apart from the arc as such, there is not much to see: is right in front of a large busy Expressway artery, the avenue that connects the center of Athens, Andrea Siggrou with Piraeus (during our visit we were lucky because the artery had become pedestrianized due to a marathon in the city); on the other hand, however, there is a nice big green area, with the remains of the Temple of Zeus. Therefore the 2 monuments can be visited together, like a scrap of Rome to Athens (kinda like when you go to visit the Roman agora). And then the bow is just outside Plaka and just a few steps from the Acropolis, so much so that one finds well even by the latter.
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  • This monument does not require input to be visited because it is outside the compound of the Temple of Zeus. You can see both day and night.
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Google
  • Nice spot, but not One of The absolut mødt see's
  • A beautiful ancient Greek structure which is not too far of a walk to the Acropolis. Next to it is a park with more ruins within.
  • I gave this 5 stars purely based on my love for the classics. Open for all to see. You can get within 3m of it. Not much of a description next to it and it isn't overly celebrated, but if you read up about its history beforehand it's always a joy to see it in situ.
  • Interesting design as it has a Roman arch and then Greek arches on top. Worth a quick visit.
  • Great sight to see while walking. No crowds so you can really take an up close look at the remaining arch standing. Recommend to see while walking to the Olympic stadium and the temple located behind the arch