The beauty of the eight winds personified! Elgin wanted to take the entire Tower to Britain, however the Dervishes considered it sacred so they wouldn’t let him
The most famous monument in the center of Athens is of course the Parthenon on the Acropolis. But the center of the capital has many monuments and attractions, which are worth visiting even if you are on vacation in your city.
One of them is the famous Aerides or Monument of the Aerides or Tower of the Winds, in Plaka.
It is a monument of the 1st BC. A century. The octagonal tower, 13.5 meters high, is made of the well-known Pentelian marble.
The monument was built by the astronomer Andronikos from Kyrros in Macedonia (which is why it is sometimes called the Clock of Kyristos).
To this day, the exact reason for its erection, in the middle of the Roman Agora, is not known.
According to the estimates of the archaeologists, however, it is probably a kind of weather station, which also functioned as a time clock, which was probably used by the merchants of the time to calculate the time but also the winds that prevailed and affected the commercial routes by which they arrived their products in the then markets of the world.
On the top of the roof there was a brass weathervane in the shape of Triton, which, rotating, showed, holding a pointer, the direction of one of the eight main winds. The winds, personified, are depicted flying (winged) in the upper part of each side of the tower, each bearing a special symbol. Their names are engraved under the corresponding part of the octagonal cornice, and they are: Borreas (north), Caikias (northeast), Apiliotis (east), Evros (southeast), Notos (south), Lips ( Livas, southwest), Zephyros (west), and Skiron (northwest). Beneath each personification, engraved rays in various formations formed a true sundial.
Inside the Tower there was a hydraulic clock, which measured the time on days when there was no sunshine and also at night.
In particular, for calculating the time on days without sun, there was a special hydraulic clock installation inside the building. This leads to the conclusion that the maker of the monument combined the inventions of previous clock makers such as Archimedes, Ctesivius and Philo. In fact, as Warronas notes, on the south side of the building there was a cylindrical container with water that was supplied through a pipe from a source on the north side of the Acropolis. And Vitruvius calls this monument the “Tower of the Winds” and describes it in many details. Finally, the monument is classified in the Corinthian style (from the pilasters) while its interior is in the Doric style (heavy austere). Continuation of the NE building was the Market Hall on a multi-tiered marble base.
In Christian times, Aerides became a church and a cemetery was built in the surrounding area.
When the Turks recaptured Athens in the 18th century, the monument became a place of prayer for the Order of the Dervishes of Mevlevi and took the name “Tekes of Braimis”. Then the windows that still exist today were opened. Thanks to the Mevlevian Dervishes, the monument remained in Greece and was saved from Elgin. Lord Elgin wanted to transfer the entire building to Britain but the Mevlevides did not allow it.
After the liberation of Greece, the Athenians believed that the temple was dedicated to the god of the winds, Aeolus, hence the name of Aeolou Street.