Attala Gallery: one of the largest shopping centers of antiquity

You can find covered shopping arcades in each Greek city. They can have traditional tavernas and cafes, which are closely linked with the history of human settlements, where they are located.


Ancient Agorais one of the architectural and decorative features of ancient Athens. Agora has several galleries that were used to shelter from the burning rays of the sun, representing a place for rest and walks under the canopy roofs and colonnades, as well as for meetings and philosophical dialogues. The word «agora» comes from the verb «agorevo» that means«to speak, to proclaim, to declaim». And the word «stoa» is linked with well-known philosophy «stoicism», denotes the followers of the philosophical school of Zeno (300 BC), gathered in PikiliStoa Ancient Agora. Galleries have rich decor depicting scenes of political, religious and military life of the ancient Greeks.


Athens began to decorate with new magnificent buildings and sculptures in the III century BC. Foreign rulers liked to associate their names with the city of lofty ideals and culture, leaving behind a legacy of unfading time. Attalus II of Pergamon built a gallery named after him, as well as enriched the sculptural decorations Academy and raised four statues in honor of the victory over the Galatians.


Attalla Gallery is located in the eastern part of the Ancient Agora. It is a gift of the king of Pergamum Attalus II (159-138 BC) to citizens of Athens.It is stated in the inscription on the lower colonnade, which has come down to us in fragmentary form. The building has two floors, with 45 columns on the west side and the second row of columns in the inside. Shops and craft shops were in the depth of each floor housed — up to 21 in the room on each floor.

Attala gallery was the longest building and the largest shopping center. The outer colonnade on the ground floor was made in Ionic and Doric styles, the interior had smooth columns. The second floor had external and internal columns with capitals in Pergamum style. The door jambs, sills, columns were made of white Pentelic marble.


Attala gallery was destroyed by the Heruli (Germanic tribe) in 267 year.It became part of the city wall. Attala gallery served as a defensive fortification in the time of Frankish and Ottoman rule. The stones of its walls were used for the construction of two Frankish towers located near the Propylaea of ​​the Acropolis and in front of them. One of these towers in south-east side was used by the Athenians as a church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary towers — Panagia Pirgiotissy. Some of work includes picturs of Santorini volcano tours by travellers. The restoration work has been carried out in recent times from 1953 to 1956. The project was realized thanks to the donation of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.