The Largest Structure Erected by Hadrian
Located close to the Roman Agora and Tower of the Winds visitors will be able to visit the site of Hadrian's Library. It was built in approximately 132 A.D. by the Roman Emperor, and was actually constructed to house his huge library.
The west wall of the library complex, actually joins the Tzisdaraki Mosque, situated just outside of the Monastiraki Metro station. The mosque was built by Mustafa Aga Tzisdarakis, who was a Turkish commander. The mosque was actually constructed with fragments and pieces of the ancient buildings scattered around the city.
If this method of obtaining building materials was not so bad, what he did to make white-wash for the interior infuriated the Athenians. He blew up a column from the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which was crushed to power. The Athenians protested so loudly over this, that he was immediately removed from office. The building today, which was restored, is now home to the Greek Folk Art Museum.
The structure also incorporated into its design a walled courtyard, central garden and a pool. Measuring 122 meters by 82 meters, this building was actually the largest one that Hadrian built in Athens.
The whole site was surrounded by hundreds of marble columns. Though today, very little actually remains of this once impressive structure. Only a back wall survives today, which once formed part of the actual library and reading wing of the complex. The west wall, which connects with the Tzisdaraki Mosque has stood the test of time well, and has a well preserved group of columns on display.
The Library of Hadrian gave the Athenians a new, multi-purpose, public square which could also be used as a cultural center that contained various works of art, a library, lecture halls and a beautiful garden.
For the best views of the library ruins, head to Eolou and Areos streets, where you can look at, what was once, a most impressive building in the heart of Athens.
Map of Hadrian's Library
Below you will find a map which shows the location of Hadrian's Library in Athens. Click on the map image below to load the Google map.
Monday to Sunday 08:00 - 15:00
Entrance Fee / Prices:
4 Euros | Reduced 2 Euros | Is also part of the Multi Ticket for Archaeological Sites in Athens
Hadrian's Library is located on Areos Street, just 30 meters from the Monastiraki Metro Station.
Top Sights in Athens
- Ancient Agora
- Areopagus (Hill of Ares)
- Athenian Trilogy
- Filopappou Hill
- First Cemetery of Athens
- Hadrian's Arch
- Hadrian's Library
- Hill of the Nymphs
- Kerameikos Cemetery
- Lycabettus Hill
- Lysicrates Monument
- National Gardens
- Panathenaic Stadium
- Roman Agora
- Syntagma Square
- Temple of Olympian Zeus
- Tower of the Winds