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The world's first weather station is located in Athens, Greece

Athens ● 21 April 2017

Athens has a rich history of 3,000 years, and therefore, Athens Center is full of significant archaeological sites and museums that are definitely worth visiting. Among these, is also the Roman Agora, where together with other amazing findings, can be found the world's first meteorological station!

The Tower of the Winds stands in Plaka, on a slope under the Acropolis Hill. It is an octagonal monument, made almost entirely of Pentelic marble, which is the same used in Parthenon (Athens) and rarely used in buildings other than temples. The 14 meters tall monument was built around 50 B.C. by Andronicus of Cyrrhus, and it is also called Aerides, which means Winds.

Tower of the Winds

The Tower of the Winds functioned as a timepiece, and its structure features a combination of sundials, water clock and wind-vane. In antiquity, it was topped by a weathervane-like Triton that indicated the wind direction. A frieze depicted the eight wind deities, and there were eight sundials. In the interior of the Tower, there was a water clock, which was driven by water from the Acropolis. The height of the Tower of the Winds intended to place the sundials and the wind-vane at a visible spot of the Agora, making it an early example of a clock tower. It was of great value for the merchants to read the weather and tell the time their goods would arrive, and this is the reason why it was located in the Roman Agora (marketplace).

In early Christian Times, the Tower of the Winds was used as the bell-tower of a Byzantine church, and in the city's period under Ottoman rule, the monument was used as a place of worship by Sufi Muslim Whirling Dervishes. In 1799, Lord Elgin began planning the transfer of the entire monument to Britain, but it was considered as sacred place thanks to its use as a Muslim place of worship, and the Ottomans did not allow the monument to be uprooted.

While the mysteries in regard to the mechanism have not been entirely resolved, its value remains undisputed in the whole world.

Several buildings are based on the design of the Tower of the Winds, including the Daniel S. Schanck Observatory at Rutgers University of New Jersey, the Torre del Marzocco in Livorno, the Carnaby Temple and the Maitland Robinson Building in Cambridge University.

Where to Stay

Hostel in Athens, Greece Student and Travellers Inn
8.9 10
Student and Travellers Inn
16, Kidathinaion str., 10558 Athens, Greece

Student and Travellers Inn – the first hostel in Greece since 1977 is located in the heart of Plaka, right below the Acropolis. Traditional cobbled streets full of taverns, shops, cafes are right at our hostel's doorstep. The main square of Athens, Syntagma, is at 600 m, while the lively Monastiraki square is at 800 m. The nearest metro station and the bus stop for the X95 Airport Bus can be reached within a 7-minute walk.

Hotel in Athens, Greece Elikon Hotel
7.9 10
Elikon Hotel
3, Dorou str., 10431 Athens, Greece

Located in the centre of Athens, Elikon Hotel is just a 2-minute walk from Omonoia Metro station, making transport easy throughout Athens. Piraeus Port is only 20 minutes away using the metro.

Hostel in Athens, Greece Athens International Youth Hostel
7.8 10
Athens International Youth Hostel
16, Victor Hugo str., 10438 Athens, Greece

Athens International Youth Hostel is a friendly, budget hostel located in a quiet residential street, close to the historic center of Athens and just 3 minutes walk from the nearest metro station. The main square of Athens, Syntagma, is at 1.5 km, while the lively Monastiraki Square is at 1.3 km. Plaka, the historic and picturesque part of Athens with narrow cobblestone streets can be reached within a 18-minute walk.