Tower of the Winds
Tower of the Winds
4
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & Landmarks
About
A graceful stone tower dating back to the first century AD.
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Plaka
Due to its proximity to the Acropolis, Plaka remains the area where the majority of foreign visitors stay and play. Its attractive features include small squares, some notable museums and the beautiful Mitropolis cathedral, as well as a host of places to stay, eat and drink. Its pedestrian zones make it a pleasant place to escape from the city’s notorious traffic. Adrianou and Kidathineon Streets contain a number of souvenir shops, offering classier items than you will find in the Flea Market. The most rewarding section to explore is the upper reaches towards the Acropolis itself, where many old stone houses with tiled roofs have survived. Up here you can find leafier corners and the odd quaint taverna with unobstructed views of the ancient rock.
How to get there
  • Monastiraki • 3 min walk
  • Akropoli • 5 min walk
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
367 reviews
Excellent
109
Very good
166
Average
76
Poor
9
Terrible
7

Thomas V
Oakland, CA16,734 contributions
Aug 2021
This is at the Hadrian's Library site, part of the Roman city. The Romans rebuilt Athens which was in decline and made it a major city in their empire, so there are lots of Roman ruins scattered about. This one is significant.
Written August 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vikki G
Peterborough, Canada188 contributions
Feb 2022
Another site that we found had mixed reviews and we did not pay to go into. We walked around the outside of the grounds and saw everything but what is inside the tower.

It is a cool little tower and its history is very rich. If it is something you feel you need to go into the grounds it is 8 Euros a person, then go for it.

It was beautiful to just walk around
Written February 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brianngog
Cyprus7,441 contributions
Jul 2022 • Couples
If memory serves me correct then Tower of the Winds is situated in the Roman Agora. If not then the Tower sure looks the part. great piece of Artchitecture and beautifully sculpted at the top of each of the Six sides. Yet another piece in jigsaw that is the Athenian history. The old town must once have been a truly wonderous sight to behold.
Written August 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PaulB
Maastricht, The Netherlands3,127 contributions
Jan 2023
The Tower of the Winds (also called the Horologion of Andronikos Kyrrhestes) is an octagonal Pentelic marble clocktower and was the world's first meteorological station.
The tower dates back to the second century BC and featured a combination of a water clock, and a wind vane.

You can also see the entire site and the tower itself from a very short distance from the outside,
Written February 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mairwen1
United Kingdom9,509 contributions
Jun 2023 • Couples
The evocatively named, Tower of the Wind, is the main sight at the Roman Agora.
Its’ a striking looking building. The octagonal shaped structure stands 12 metres tall with a diameter of 8 metres and is made out of fine Pentelic marble
Built around 50BC, by the Greek astronomer Andronikos of Cyrrhus, it was technically quite advanced for its day.
Intriguingly, it seemed to have functioned as both a solar clock and weather forecaster. It included elaborate sundials, a wind vane, and a water clock that captured water flowing down from the Acropolis. When we looked up above the Tower, we could see the Parthenon and Acropolis looming directly overhead.
Inside the tower, there is very little to see. Those with an interest in the technical side, may appreciate the holes, channels and grooves on the floor - evidence of the hydraulic mechanism for the water clock.
I was more interested in the frieze around the top.
Each of the 8 sides has a charming carved image of one of the 8 winged wind gods. As walk around the outside of the tower, you can see each of them - Boreas (God of the North Wind), Kaikias (NE), Eurus (E), Apeliotes (SE), Notus (S), Lips (SW), Zephyrus (W) and Skiron (NW).
Two gods caught my eye, mainly because they looked particularly vindictive. Kaikias, god of the northeast wind, was associated with summer storms. He carries an enormous bucketful of hailstones which he is about to empty, in one great dump, on the people below.
Similarly, Skiron, god of the northwest wind, was associated with hot summers and lightning storms. He carries an upside-down urn, and gazes somewhat callously off into the distance while tipping hot coals down over the world beneath him.
Fortunately, others like Zephyrus, god of the west wind and messenger of Spring, were much more kindly. Zephyrus is shown as a young, fresh-faced man with a cloak full of flowers that he is about to sprinkle down from the skies.
TICKET TIP: It’s worth noting that you can see most of the tower from outside so you don’t need to pay €8 to go in. It is kind of expensive for what is a very small site. However I’d highly recommend buying the combo ticket. At €30, it is excellent value and includes entry to the Roman Agora as well as the Ancient Agora, the Acropolis and 4 other sites. Entry to the Acropolis on its own is €20 so if it is your first time to Athens, it makes sense to buy this ticket (unless you’re here in winter when many sites are half price).
Written October 30, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Harrison F. Carter
Cologne, Germany10,853 contributions
Feb 2022
Liked seeing this, and visible from the street too, if you are short on time. Worth a look en route to the Acropolis.
Written March 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

onero
Brisbane, Australia869 contributions
May 2012 • Friends
There are far too many inaccuracies told about this tower.

For a start, it's not in the ancient Agora of Athens. It's in the Roman Forum nearby. This is a completely separate area today and it requires a separate entry fee.

Next, it doesn't have sculptures of the six wind deities on its sides, because the building is OCTAGONAL (which means it has 8 sides) and there is a frieze around the top of the tower walls depicting the eight wind deities in marble. They are:
Boreas (N), Man wearing a heavy cloak, blowing through a twisted shell
Kaikias (NE), Man carrying & emptying a shield of small round objects
Euros (E), Old man wrapped tightly in a cloak against the elements
Apeliotes (SE), Young man holding a cloak full of fruit and grain
Notus (S), Man emptying an urn and producing a shower of water
Livas (SW), Boy pushing the stern of a ship, promising a good sailing wind
Zephyrus (W), Youth carrying flowers into the air
and Skiron (NW), Bearded man with a bronze pot full of hot ashes and charcoal
Below each representation is a vertical sundial.
On the roof was a triton (male equivalent of a mermaid) acting as a weather vane, and pointing in the direction from which the wind was blowing.

Finally, some say we don't know what this building was used for. Wrong again! It was called the "Horologion of Kyrrhestos " and inside it was a public water-clock (or clepsydra), driven by a stream flowing down from the Acropolis. This water-clock was built (so ancient writers like Vitruvius and Varro tell us) by Andronicus of Cyrrhus around 50 BC, at a time when water-clocks were quite well-known to Greeks and Romans, and large public ones had been built elsewhere in the ancient world ... but they were uncommon. The city of Alexandria (in Egypt) was said to specialise in building them, and Andronicus is said to have trained there.

The only real mystery here is how the Athenian Horologion survived so well - and the answer may be that it was useful to whoever was in power over the ages, and owes its preservation to that fact. In the early Christian period, the Tower of the Winds was converted into a church. Later on, the Ottomans used it for various purposes (some say the Dervishers used it, but it's hardly big enough to whirl around in!). It gradually became covered with dirt and debris that accumulated over the centuries, until it was excavated by the Greek Archaeological Society around 1837-1845. Modern restorations took place throughout the 1900s.The Triton and water-clock have long gone. The wind dieties and sundials remain. Greece even issued a set of stamps with their images some decades ago, and these can sometimes be purchased at shops in the Plaka nearby. My friends Cas and Liz bought me a set while I was there.

Is it worth a visit? Absolutely! You can see it well enough from outside the fence, but the Tower and the Roman Agora in which it stands are interesting to walk through if you like to walk through history. The door giving entry to the tower is sometimes not open, but it has glass panes in it, so you can have a look inside the tower (though there's not much to see today.)
However, being up close to history is always a worthwhile experience. Go for it.
Written July 18, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chetede
Seattle, WA47 contributions
Aug 2017
You really need to spend time inside to analyse what you see. If you're careful enough you would be able to notice the remnants of paint on walls. In general quite a unique place to see. Of course, it's not as astonishing as Acropolis, but outside of it it's worth seeing. There are cafes all along the street nearby, so if it's hot you can sit there and enjoy a glass of ice tea or whatever you prefer (Zathos beer is the best!)
Written April 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wikumj
Bromley, UK317 contributions
Mar 2023 • Couples
Not really very much to see here, if you’ve seen the photo you’ve seen all there is. Fine to stop by if you’re in the area but I feel attractions like this should be free as they only take about 5 minutes to look at
Written March 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

130Doug
Navarre, FL1,233 contributions
Nov 2019
November 2018 (not 2019)

So this place is considered the world's first meteorological station! I can't imagine it buried up to half its height, but it certainly made a fine bell tower and haven for whirling dervishes. Walk inside here! There isn't much to see, but it's a part of history that shouldn't be missed as long as you're walking through ancient Athens!
Written June 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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