Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Library Visit

Do libraries fascinate you? They do us -  just like museums and when we get the chance we'd pop into one at places we are visiting.

We walked down hill towards the Roman Agora in Athens after we said goodbye to the Acropolis. To the north of the Roman Agora is the Hadrian's Library. Yes...a bit in ruins but the achitecture that comes with it was overwhelming. 

The library was built on the site of Late Hellenistic and Early Roman housing.

The Library of Hadrian in Athens was constructed circa 132-134 CE as part of Roman Emperor Hadrian’s grand re-building plan for the city.

Hadrian (76-138 CE) was the fourteenth Emperor of Rome. Known for his building projects which was perhaps his most enduring legacy. Hadrian established cities throughout the Balkan Peninsula, Egypt, Asia Minor, and Greece.

Picture from Google
Library complex impressive entrance, located on the west side of the building, had a Corinthian columned porch also known as propylon
Columned façade with Corinthian columns in green Karystos marble

The main part of the building was opposite the entrance on the eastern side.
The library was the largest in Athens. It had columned façade and high surrounding walls, built to impress.  The building was used to store important literary works and legal and administrative documents as well as a place to hear lectures and host various philosophical schools.

A Corinthian capital from the north facade of the Library of Hardrian
Columns in the interior of Hadrian's Library
Mosaic pavements

Library of Hadrian East Wall - restoration work on going. 

During the Byzantine era a series of churches were built on the site.

Architectural elements still visible in the Library of Hadrian central courtyard area.

As we left the complex, we imagined what an important centre of learning and philosophy it would have been during its heyday with books, scrolls, documents and papyri housed in the Library.

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