Tower of the Winds
Where is the Tower of the Winds
Situated in the Roman Forum of Athens, just a few minutes’ walk from the Ancient Agora of Athens, is the Tower of the Winds. Also known as the Horologion of Andronikos Kyrrhestes, it is the world’s first weather station.
Unofficially, it is also called Aerides, which means Winds. Made from the same Pentelic marble as the Parthenon, its purpose was an horologion (timepiece) and is considered one of the oldest surviving timepieces in the world.
It has a height of 8.5 metres (28 ft) and is on the site of an earlier clocktower destroyed in the great fire of 161 AD.
The Tower of the Winds was constructed by Andronikos Kyrrhestes, a Syrian architect who arrived in Athens during the reign of Emperor Hadrian.
Andronikos was commissioned by the Roman consul, Marcus Claudius Marcellus, to build a tower that would serve as an horologion and a sundial.
It served as a model for other horologion built in the Roman Empire. It was also copied in later centuries, particularly in the Middle Ages.
It remained standing until it was destroyed by the great fire of 161 AD. It was rebuilt in 195 AD but was again destroyed in the 7th century AD.
The Tower of the Winds was rediscovered in 1750 and restored several times. It is currently one of the most popular tourist attractions in Athens.
What is an horologion?
An horologion is a device used for telling time. It is typically a clock or watch but can also be a sundial, water clock, or timepiece.
The Tower of the Winds in Athens is considered one of the oldest surviving horologion in the world.
It was constructed by Andronikos Kyrrhestes in the 2nd century AD and served as both an horologion and a sundial.
The frieze with relief sculptures of the four seasons
The reliefs are in a high state of preservation and provide valuable insight into the beliefs and mythology of the ancient Greeks.
Other things to see
The personifications of the morning and evening stars.
The view from the top of the tower
The original position of a water clock. This marked time with water from a stream that flowed down from the Acropolis.
Inside the tower looking up towards the ceiling
As the Tower of the Winds is located in the Roman Forum of Athens, it has the same opening hours.
Summer (April 1st to October 31st)
Monday – Sunday 08:00 – 15:00
Winter (November 1st to March 31st)
Monday – Sunday 09:00 – 15:00
January 1st, March 25th, May 1st, Easter Sunday, December 25th and 26th