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Hadrian's Arch

Hadrian's Arch (42)

Right at the entrance to the Temple of Olympian Zeus is Hadrian's Arch, or Hadrian's Gate, as it is also known. These two monuments from the Roman period are the first the visitor sees when visiting Athens because of its central location on the way to Syntagma Square. It serves as an announcement that you are in a city with a history that goes back many centuries. 

The Roman emperor Hadrian, who ordered it to be built in the year 131 AD, went down in history for his reign of peace. In this time many great public buildings were constructed, including the arch, as well as the Olimpeion and the reinforcement of the wall around the city. 

In the 2nd century Emperor Hadrian had a passion for the culture and life in Greece, and during his rule, Athens was seen almost as a second capital of the Roman Empire. 

Hadrian's Arch was built in Pentelic marble in the place where one of the gateways to the city was in the 6th century BC. His intention was to differentiate the ancient city, which was reflected in the Acropolis, from the modern Roman city, unfolding outwards. For this reason, there are curious inscriptions on both sides of the door. The ancient Greek city inscription reads "This is the old city of Theseus" and on the Roman side, the emperor ordered the following inscription: "This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus".

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