Tower of the Winds in Athens Opens After Restoration

Athens, Greece - August 4, 2016: People visiting tower of the winds. Ancient agora of Athens, Greece.

(Greece) – The Tower of the Winds, an ancient landmark in the Plaka, an old neighborhood in Athens, is open for visitors after its considerable and time consuming restoration. According to the Hellenic Culture Ministry, the Tower of the Winds restoration is complete and is now ready to accommodate visitors.

The ancient toweris 12 meters in height and 7.9 meters in diameter. There is an octagonal shape within it that served as the tower’s time telling device. It was built around 50 B.C. by Greek astronomer Andronikos of Cyrrhus.. It was made of white Pentelic marble, the same used to build the Parthenon. Over time, this marble gets damaged and cracked from the weather as well as normal wear and tear.

In antiquity, it was also topped by a weathervane depicting Triton who indicated the wind direction. This piece of equipment also depicted the people’s beliefs because they pointed to some of the gods. Each of the tower’s sides faces a point of the compass and is decorated by friezes depicting the eight gods who controlled the wind –  Boreas to the north, Kaikias to the northeast, Eurus to the east, Apeliotes to the southeast, Notus to the south, Lips to the southwest, Zephyrus to the west, and Skiron northwest.

Restoration started on the outside walls of the marble structure in 2014, but the interior had been closed for much longer that that. This project was supported by funds provided by the European Union. Now that the tower is open, visitors and locals alike can take tours and view a piece of their history that they may not have been able to see. The real draw here is that both the inside and the outside of the tower have been restored for all to enjoy. Althugh the tower had always been visible, it has been off limits for some time.

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