TOWER OF THE WINDS, Tower Of The Winds

Audio File length: 2.33
English / USA Language: English / USA

Hi, my name’s Rick, and I’m your personal guide. Along with MyWoWo, I’d like to welcome you to one of the Wonders of the World: the Tower of the Winds, the most curious building in Athens.

The Tower of the Winds, also known as Horologion, is a peculiar construction from Roman times, near the Agora, the central square of Athens, built near the historical Agora from the Greek age.

This octagonal tower once contained an ingenious water clock, presumably constructed by Andronicus of Cyrrhus, a Syrian architect, around 50 BC, when Athens had been under Roman rule for some time.

The original, pyramid-shaped roof of the tower was topped with a weathervane in the form of Triton, which indicated the direction of the winds. The eight sculptures below represent the eight main winds bearing symbolic gifts related to the seasons they are associated with.

If you look carefully, on one side you’ll see the remains of the base of a cylindrical tower which once reached up to the top. This contained the water delivered by the aqueduct from the Klepsidra Spring on the Acropolis whose pressure operated the mechanism of the water clock inside.

The advantage of the water clock was that it worked day and night, regardless of the weather conditions, and thus replaced the sundials, which marked the hours only when there was shadow created by the sun.

Just a few meters from the tower is a shallow rectangular ditch. This is all that remains of the “toilets” of the Roman agora: running water passed through a ditch under the seats, which could comfortably accommodate about seventy people: just imagine them chatting amiably while on the toilet. As you’ll have guessed, the concept of privacy in Ancient times was very different from ours today!



Let me leave you with an interesting fact: the peculiar structure of the Tower of the Winds inspired numerous, subsequent constructions which you may already have seen, or might see on your future travels: just to mention a few, it might remind you of the tall octagonal Marzocco Tower in the port of Leghorn, the world-famous Tribuna of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the eighteenth-century astronomical observatory in Oxford, the nineteenth-century octagonal tower of Sevastopol, and lastly, the hexagonal tower built in Bergamo in 1940.

Scarica MyWoWo! La Travel App che ti racconta le meraviglie del mondo!

Share on