The Roman Forum

romaiki_agora1Situated in the historic Athenian neighbourhoods of Plaka and Monastiraki, the Roman Forum was built during the rule of the Roman Emperor Augustus, between 19 and 11 B.C. to house the city’s trade center. Later, under the rule of Emperor Hadrian, the Forum was restructured and expanded, with its main yard being paved. Major landmarks in the area include the Horologion, built by Andronicus of Cyrrhus (also known as “Tower of the Winds”), and the Forum’s western gate, which has been well preserved.

The most significant feature distinguishing the Forum from the classic agora, is that the Forum was built primarily for trade. After the city’s destruction during the Herulian invasion in the late 3rd Century A.C., trade activities were conducted within the confines of the Forum, it’s Roman walls offering protection. Eventually, this location evolved into the administrative centre of Athens. But nothing is ever permanent, and over the centuries, the Byzantine era, followed by the Frankish and Ottoman occupations again changed the Forum; Christian churches, new houses and workshops rose, followed later by the Fetihie mosque, all built at the site. But trade activities, such as the wheat market, were preserved.

Source: www.athensattica.gr

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