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Academy of Plato

The Site of Plato's Academy is situated just outside the central Athens.


In the map right, the larger of the two parks (coloured in green) is the place.

The closest metro stations are Metaxourgiou and Kerameikos, about 20 minutes walk from either of the stations. You may get the bus 051 toward Akademia Platonos from Omonia Square (note that the Academy is not the last stop and you need to get off when you see the park - not difficult to recognise).
Platon's Academy
The site is securely identified as the Academy by an inscription found in 1966, but the state of preservation and exposition is not good. It is now open to public as an archaeological park. There is no entrance fee, but there are very few signs and information available on site. We entered the site from the south side of the park walking toward north, and then went back a little toward east to see Peripatos.

The photos left, below and top are all belong to the Gymnasium complex, situated at the south end of the park.

Akademia Platonos
The part shown in the top photo is probably the best preserved, but when we visited on a Suyday of May 2009, there were a group of foreigners (non-Greeks) drinking beers, and as they looked pretty drunk, we decided not to get close.Some of them looked weary that I was taking photographs.

Academy is famous for the place where Plato taught, but as a place of education and training, it existed before him. The name Academy was said to be taken from the legendary founder Hekademos. Plato founded his school in the later 380's BC., and then his school becoming so famous the Academy thereafter meant his and his successors' school.

The stone boxes in the photo right are sarcophagi. The tombs probably were placed alongside the road from Athens to Academy.

Ancient Athens and Academy were connected with a direct road from the Dipylon Gate of Kerameikos area. If you walk along the Monastiriou stree from Athens, you can see a exposed part of the road near the modern church of Ag. Giorgos.

Recinct Wall
Part of the ancient wall. My guidebooks say that there are remains of the wall that Hipparchos, son of the Athenian tyrant Peisistratos, constructed around the sanctuary. So, I think this is it.

Some ancient constructions near the wall. This part is enclosed and protected by a modern construction and not accessible. It is actually hardly visible.

The oldest trances of human settlement here date back to the early Neolithic period, which means that this is one of the Athens' ealiest settled areas of Athens together with the Acropolis area.
Again, according to guideboos, there should be a heroon (altar dedicated to heros) of the Geometric period (8-7th cent. BC) around here, it might be the thing hidden in the building.

If you go a bit toward north, there are many marble building materials scattered around. The ones in the photo right are only part of them.

This is the site thought to be the peripatos where Plato and Aristotles walked discussiong philosophy (not securely identified), but it is covered with earth and weeds and it is difficult to grasp the plan.

This stone was about in the middle of the site above. There was also something like a huge pot just next to it.


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