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Athenian Agora - The Stoa of Attalos Page 2

sign about stoaThe fact that the Stoa was intended to be used by large numbers of people is reflected in its design. The bottom parts of the exterior columns, for instance, were smooth instead of fluted, as the coming and going crowds were liable to damage and chip the fragile channels. The interior columns were not fluted at all, because their position away from the light anyway precluded the play of sun and shadow. Aside from shopping, the Stoa was also used for promenades and for watching the Panathenaic procession, which followed the Panathenaic Street that runs just in front of it.

The Stoa of Attalos was destroyed in the Herulian invasion of 267 AD, except for portions of its back wall. The northeast corner shows an original section (to be seen from outside the Agora), with a row of beam holes from the Medieval houses that were once built up against it.
The Stoa was restored accurately in 1953-56 with private money from the United States. Marble from the ancient quarries on Mount Pentele was employed and limestone from Piraeus (and reinforced concrete for non-visible parts). In its present form it gives a good idea of what other Hellenistic stoas would have looked like.

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