Monday 26 November 2012

The library of Hadrian and the church Saint Asomatos

Just next to the well known Monastiraki square in Athens you find the remains of Hadrian's library and the quite small (but high!)church Saint Asomatos.

The high pillars and the wall, to the left of the entrance of the great library of Hadrian, are the remains of the Saint Asomatos church, also called "Στα Σκαλιά" (Sta Skalia"="On the Stairs")as it was built almost on the stairs of the library. Sta Skalia was built in the 12th century.

Old drawing from 1833 with the Saint Asomatos church to the right. The round building to the left is an Ottoman mosque, Τζαμί Τσισδαράκη  - Tsisdarakis Mosque, built 1759, today functioning as a museum of traditional art.

Hadrian's library was built 132-134 as a donation of the Roman Emperor Hadrian to the city of Athens.  The impressive library was rectangular with a courtyard of 122x82 meters in the middle. (Up on the slope behind you can see Acropolis.)

Can you imagine how it must have been to walk in this noble library full of papyrus books (papyrus scrolls) that time...?!

If you are there and it's open, take a closer look. There's a small museum as well.
There are also living a few Greek, or maybe Moorish, tortoises in the former courtyard!

1  Propylon (Entrance)
2  Library
3  Amphitheatre
4  Small houses
5  Part of the Post-Herulian wall
6  Tetraconch church
7  Agios Asomatos on the stairs church
8  Victoria Romana gallery

There were also reading rooms and lecture halls.

Brochure The library of Hadrian / Φυλλάδιο Βιβλιοθήκη του Αδριανού
Archaeological Receipts Fund
Hadrian's library, Wikipedia
Museum of Greek Folk Art - Tzisdarakis Mosque
Museum of Greek Folk Art, opening hours

1 comment:

iwannaGOtoATHENS said...

Wonderfull ;)
Athens must be really sunny and colourfull city.
Don't you think ? ;)