© Rey Etienne

August 26, 2016

Discover the tower of the winds
The first weather station in the world

Following a maintenance and restoration project, the Tower of the Winds, on the outskirts of the Roman Agora in Plaka Athens, has opened its doors for the public.

The covers have been long removed from the unique reliefs of the exterior of the octagonal tower, and now they just gave back to the Athenians and the visitors the genuine beauty of the eight winds personalized depicted. The conservation and restoration work was carried out under the NSRF, and became specialized tasks from the permanent maintenance staff of the Inspectorate of Antiquities of Athens took place in the interior of the monument.

This imposing tower, the renowned Tower of the “Winds” as it usually is called , is a building that was constructed at the end of the 1st century. B.C. The official name is the Horologion Kyrristos (The Watch of Kyrristos) and it is considered that has been erected from Andronicus of Kyrristis (or Kyrristos), Greek astronomer from Cyrrhus of Macedonia. The impressive marble building is located on the northern foothills of the Acropolis, at the Roman Agora, and it is made from Pentelic marble and each side of the tower has a length of 3.20 meters and an overall height of 12 meters with no columns, while the sides are carved with reliefs of the eight major winds, from which it takes its popular name. It has two doors, one to the north and one to the west and the roof is made as a conical tile roof.

The monument impressed travelers and historians through time, both for its construction and its scientific use. Renowned as the Tower of the Winds or Temple of Aeolus, the monument has been described in great detail and have been classified into two rates. The exterior part of these columns belong to the Corinthian order and the interior of the Doric order. Besides a weather station, the tower also served as an hour metric station in order to calculate the time in sunless days, as there was also a special installation of an hydraulic clock within the monument. It is believed that the manufacturer of the monument combined previous inventions pf clofk manufacturers such as Archimedes, Ctesibius and Philo.

The handsome winged winds are the most striking feature of the Winds. Fly embossed, engraved with their name on each of the eight sides of the tower and everyone bears a special symbol. Is the North (north), the Kaikias (northeast), the Apiliotis (east), the range (southeast), the South (Southern), the Lips (Livas, south west), the Zephyr (west), and Skiron (northwest ).
A brazen Triton adorned as anemodeichtis the top of the roof showing the wind direction.

The tower’s historical path is closely associated with the Christian religion, as in the early Christian years, the tower was used as a Byzantine church steeple, while it was described as a temple of Aeolus from the travellers Kyriakos Agonitis. Thereafter, the tower was converted into a “tekke” (Muslim Monastery), and various dervishes settled there from various regions of the Ottoman Empire.In 1821, when Athens was occupied from the Greeks, the Tower of the Winds was included in the archaeological sites of Athens. It was fully excavated in the 19th century from the Greek Archaeological Society. Today, the region of the tower still is one of the most scenic spots of old Athens.

Translated from Elculture.gr

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