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Hadrian's Library, Athens

(220+ reviews on the web)
Library
Hadrian's Library was created by Roman Emperor Hadrian in AD 132 on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens.The building followed a typical Roman Forum architectural style, having only one entrance with a propylon of Corinthian order, a high surrounding wall with protruding niches at its long sides, an inner courtyard surrounded by columns and a decorative oblong pool in the middle. The library was on the eastern side where rolls of papyrus "books" were kept. Adjoining halls were used as reading rooms, and the corners served as lecture halls.The library was seriously damaged by the Herulian invasion of 267 and repaired by the prefect Herculius in AD 407-412. During Byzantine times, three churches were built at the site, the remains of which are preserved: a tetraconch (5th century AD)a three-aisled basilica (7th century), anda simple cathedral (12th century), which was the first cathedral of the city, known as Megali Panagia. Around the same period as the cathedral another church, Agios Asomatos sta Skalia, was built against the north facade, but it is not preserved.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This area is mostly in ruins but it is definitely worth a stop on your trip to Athens. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants around the area as well.  more »
  • This isn't the best archeological site in Athens, but it is in the heart of the tourist area and is a good stop to wander through. We enjoyed it.  more »
  • You know how I am! Give me a ruin, I will be happy for hours. This was, once again, the case with Hadrian's Library. Fantastic pieces of architecture, fantastic extrapolated reconstructions. Everyone ...  more »
Google
  • If you love history it's great, but if not then it's okay from the outside. But it is included in the 30€ ticket
  • Great and very old historical site. Must see and read about it.
  • There isn't much to see, apart from what you can observe from the outside. As with most of the things to see in Athens, not enough info unless you get an audio guide or an actual guide.
  • Hadrian´s library is a place you should definitely visit. It is in the centre of the historical centre and opposite Monastiraki metro / train station. However, for me the information provided on the signs is not adequate. I needed more. So, study a bit before you visit this, remember that the first Sunday of every month it is free (for the time being) and that the entrance is unfortunately closed after 3. Yes, so early!
  • Pieces of relics scattered all over the garden, must have been a very beautiful place back then