Stoa of Attalos
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The Stoa of Attalos in Athens (it is a long gallery-portico) was one of the most magnificent structures. But even such extensive monuments are defenseless against time and destruction. From an impressive structure, it first had turned into ruins, and some time later, it was restored at its historical place.


The Stoa of Attalos was built by the Pergamon king Attalos II and was named after him. Attalos had been ruling from 159 to 138 BC. The building was his gift to Athens, the city where Attalos had studied. This was indicated by an inscription found on one of the colonnades: "King Attalos, the son of Attalos I and Queen Apollonis."

The Stoa was built of limestone and pentelic marble on the eastern side of the Ancient Agora. The architecture of Stoa of Attalos is interesting due to the mix of styles. During the construction, several architectural orders were used: the internal colonnade was designed in Ionic, and the external — in Doric one. On the upper floor, the colonnade was Ionic, and the capitals represented Pergamon architecture. The floors were connected by staircases, which were making it possible to move between the rooms of the Stoa.

The length of the Stoa was 115 m, its width was a bit more than 20 m. The columns were 5 m high. As compared to other similar buildings in Athens, the Stoa of Attalos was more complicated in architecture and much larger in size. From the point of view of planning, the Stoa was a perfect example of a public building: the passages with columns were protecting visitors from the wind in winter and from the heat in summer. At the same time, there was no lack of fresh air inside.

In ancient Athens, the Stoa was a kind of a shopping center. Here the Athenians were spending their free hours, communicating, getting together, and a brisk trade was conducted here as well. The shops were located on two floors of the Stoa of Attalos. But in 267 the Herulians came to Athens and destroyed the Stoa. The building had turned into ruins, which were later used as the foundation of defensive walls.

After that, the Stoa of Attalos was forgotten for many centuries. But in the 19th century, during the next excavations, the archaeologists accidentally found unidentified foundations — these were the traces of the Stoa. In the middle of the 20th century, American experts took interest in the object. With the financial support of the Rockefellers in 1950ies, it became possible to restore the life-size Stoa of Attalos with maximum precision. This is how this monument had existed in the days of ancient Athenians.

It is worth considering that the Stoa has become more than just a copy of an ancient structure. In 2003, it was chosen to host a significant event: the signing of the Accession Treaty of 10 new countries with EU.

Immediately after the works were finished, it was decided to open the Stoa of Attalos’ museum. To be more exact, it was the museum of the Ancient Agora: it housed all the finds that were discovered during the excavations. The museum occupies two floors. All the exhibits are displayed in chronological order: the oldest date back to the 7th century BC, the latest are related to the 17th century. The museum has an impressive collection of statues, jewelry, weapons, Athenian coins of different eras, inscriptions, household utensils, finds from sanctuaries, objects made of bronze and ivory, and clay lamps. It is particularly interesting to see the architectural elements of the original Stoa of Attalos and the miniature models of the buildings of the Athenian Agora.

The Stoa of Attalos in the Athenian Agora is located right in the heart of Athens. You can reach it by metro. The nearest stations are Tisio and Monastiraki. Then you need to walk on foot for about 5 minutes. The Acropolis of Athens is just a 10-15-minute’ walk from the Stoa of Attalos. By the way, from the height of the Acropolis there is a wonderful view of the Stoa.

400 metres from the Stoa of Attalos there is a bus stop "Monastiraki Square". Buses No. 025, 027, 035, 227, 500 stop here.