Stoa of Attalos

Stoa of Attalos (34)

The magnificent building before your eyes is the result of the reconstruction carried out by the American School of Athens between 1953 and 1956, thanks to donations from none other than the millionaire John D. Rockefeller. Perhaps the thought of a reconstructed building does not excite you, but the work was carried out in accordance with the original foundations and the same ancient materials. 

This work has been much admired, since it allows visitors to observe an almost exact replica of the building.

With this in mind, all that remains is to admire the beautiful covered two-storey portico that was a major trading centre in the neighbourhood in the 2nd century BC, when it was built. The stoa, the name for such a building (a covered portico), was built by King Attalos II of Pergamon, as recorded in an inscription. It is believed that this splendid building was a gift from the king to the city as gratitude for the education received in Athens. 

The building is an impressive size: it measures 115 metres in length and 20 metres in width. It is constructed in Pentelic marble and features a Doric colonnade on the ground floor and an Ionic colonnade with a balustrade on the top floor. The galleries on the ground floor have a second inner Ionic colonnade, and on the top floor, the inner colonnade follows the style of Pergamon, decorated with palm leaves. Inside the galleries on both floors are 21 rooms, lit up by windows and doors. 

At present, this spectacular complex in the Agora houses a museum dedicated to the Agora itself. The objects retrieved during excavations are on display in the galleries. An ancient water clock, bronze tokens, voting tablets, terracotta toys and a sandal are just some of the exhibits in this interesting and varied museum.

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