Sacred Gate

Sacred Gate

<Location> Kerameikos Site, Athens, Attica, Greece

In the Fifth century BCE Athenian politician Themistokles started to construct a massive fortification wall surrounding Athens. In the Kerameikos area, two gates were constructed, the Sacred Gate and the Dipylon Gate. The Sacred Gate was opening toward the Sacred Way (Hiera Odos) that connected Athens with Eleusis, sacred place of the goddess Demeter.

The Sacred and Dipylon Gates were not simple gates, but monumental defensive structures of a few tens of metres in depth. The Sacred Gate had two passages; one for the people and the other for the Eridanos river (in the photo). The part for the people had been badly damaged, and does not really look like a gate. The photo below is the general view of the gate.

Sacred Gate

At the centre of the photo you can probably recognise an arch-like structure. This is the same arch that you see in the first photo, seen, however, from the east, while the first photo was shot from the west. The street left to it is the Sacred Road (Hiera Odos), and the structure beside it is what remained of the Sacred Gate.

The Gate was restored several times, and much of the present structure belongs to the imperial period.