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  • Day66

    Tower of Winds, Athens

    November 3, 2018 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Opposite the Gate of Medrese is the site of an ancient octagonal weather station named for the eight Greek gods of wind. Horologion of Andronikos Kyrrhestes or the Tower of Winds, is an octagonal Pentelic marble clock tower in the Roman Agora and is considered the world's first meteorological station.

    The structure features a combination of sundials, a water clock, and a wind vane. It was supposedly built by Andronicus of Cyrrhus around 50 BC, but according to other sources, might have been constructed in the 2nd century BC before the rest of the forum. In summer of 2014, the Athens Ephorate of Antiquities began cleaning and conserving the structure; restoration work was completed in 2016.

    The octagonal structure was made almost entirely out of Pentelic marble, the same kind used for the Parthenon, which is rare to find in any structures other than temples. Built to measure time, it is also known as a horologion, meaning timepiece.

    Each of its eight sides faces a point on the compass, and features a frieze depicting each of the eight ancient Greek wind gods, giving the tower its name. Beneath the friezes are eight vertical sundials where the shadow was cast on hour lines that, while faint, are still visible today.

    The interior of the structure contained a complicated internal water clock, which was driven by water flowing down from a large well under the Acropolis. This was essential for use on cloudy days or at night when the sundials were ineffective.

    Once again it is amazing to see a structure built so long ago and even better to see that the people of Athens take the restoration of these sites very seriously.
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