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Hadrian's Library, Athens

3.4
#117 of 558 in Things to do in Athens
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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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Hadrian’s library is a small site that can easily been visited in as short as 1/2 hour or so. In some areas you can see several different time periods built on top of each other. There are also some c...  more »
  • Don't be fooled by the imposing wall of the library: behind there is nothing. You can also see what the site offers from outside walking around the perimeter, at no charge.
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  • Again this was part of our multi-pass ticket and well worth a short visit. It's fascinating were some of these ruins are located because there are modern buildings next door. But it's well worth a sho...  more »
Google
  • One of the best things about great conquerors like Hadrian is the number of beautiful remnants that left. And the library built by the former Roman emperor is definitely one of them. One can only imagine piles of papyrus rolls and... well.... :) Definitely worth visiting not only if you have it on the way to Acropolis. It's "only" 2EUR outside season and 4 during the season - if visiting during the high season and plan more sites/museums, consider buying the combined pass for 30Eur. Stray dogs and cats as you can see in the photo are a natural part of Greece, so no worries. Toilets on site.
  • Biiig open space. Nice place to recollect and admire ancient remanances.
  • One of the most iconic spots in Athens city. It is situated right on the main road in the hustle and bustle of the traffic.
  • A cute library with some history dating back to the Roman era. You have to pay to enter which isn't entirely necessary in my opinion. Also, be aware of a gang of men "giving away" wristbands in this area, on multiple occasions over the span of three days they harassed me and my partner when we walked near them trying to give us a wristband but coming across in a very threatening and scary manner, grabbing my partner by the wrist at one point.
  • Interesting archaeological site right near Monastiraki Square...keep an eye out for the wild tortoises!
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