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

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

Hotel in Athens, Greece Hotel Rio Athens
7.7 10
Hotel Rio Athens
13, Odisseos str., Karaiskaki Square, 10436 Athens, Greece

Hotel Rio Athens is conveniently located on the quiet pedestrian street of Κaraiskaki Square, just 1 km from Syntagma Square. Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport is 25 km away, while the port of Piraeus is 15 km away.

Hotel in Athens, Greece Hotel Marina
7.8 10
Hotel Marina
13, Voulgari str., 10 437 Athens, Greece

Situated in the center of Athens, Hotel Marina is just a five-minute walk from Omonoia Metro Station which allows easy and quick transportation within the city. Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" is 34 km away and Piraeus Port 10 km away.

Hotel in Athens, Greece Acropolis Museum Boutique Hotel
8.9 10
Acropolis Museum Boutique Hotel
48, Syggrou Ave., 11742 Athens, Greece

Acropolis Museum Boutique Hotel is located in the heart of the historical center of Athens, just a few steps from the Acropolis and Plaka, next to the new Acropolis Museum. Elefthérios Venizélos Airport is a 35- minute drive from the hotel.