Sights of Interest in Greece
Arch of Hadrian in Athens27-02-2013 15:43
The Arch of Hadrian is located 325m southeast of the Acropolis. It spanned an ancient road from the center of Athens to the complex of structures of the eastern side of the city that included the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
The arch was built to celebrate the arrival of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and to honor him for his benefactions to the city.
The entire monument is made of Pentelic marble, the same that has used for the Parthenon and many other structures. It was constructed without cement or mortar from solid marble, using clamps to connect the cut stones. It is 18m high and 13,5 wide.
The passageway of the lower level is 6,5m and was supported by pilasters crowned with Corinthian capitals. On either side was a Corinthian column on a rectangular raised base projecting from the center of the wall. The upper level of the arch was composed of a series of Corinthian columns and pilasters dividing the space into three openings.
The base of the arch was buried in earth only to some level, it was never protected by being buried during nearly nineteen centuries but it is in extraordinary condition. The columns of the lower level are missing but its preserving its full height over the modern Amalias Avenue.
Two inscriptions are carved on the architrave of the arch’s lower level, one centered over the arched opening on either side. On the northwest side (towards the Acropolis), the inscription was:
ΑΙΔ' ΕIΣΙΝ ΑΘΗΝΑΙ ΘΗΣΕΩΣ Η ΠΡΙΝ ΠΟΛΙΣ (this is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus).
The inscription on the southeast side (facing the Olympeion) read:
ΑΙΔ' ΕIΣΙΝ ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟΥ ΚΟΥΧI ΘΗΣΕΩΣ ΠΟΛΙΣ (this is the city of Hadrian, and not of Theseus)
You will definitely see the arch but it worth to give a second glance at it , it certainly has a great history to say.
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