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 Ambrosia Suites
8.3 10
Ambrosia Suites
52, Sokratous Str., 10431 Athens, Greece

Ambrosia Suites is located in the centre of Athens, just 200 m away from Omonoia Metro Station. It is within walking distance of all major sights. Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" is 34 km away and the Port of Piraeus 10 km away.

Hotel in Athens, Greece Albion Hotel
Albion Hotel
20, Akominatou Str., 10437 Athens, Greece

Albion Hotel is located in the heart of Athens, next to the Metaxourghio Metro Station. Eleftherios Venizelos Airport is a 45-minute drive away.#

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.


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