The Tower of the Winds is an ancient octagonal shaped tower made from marble situated in the Roman Agora in Athens.
Known as a "horologian" or timepiece it was perhaps, the forerunner of modern clock towers topped by a weather vane that grace many town centres today.
This fascinating and complex structure celebrated the element of wind and also incorporated sundials and a water clock. It's remarkably sophisticated design is a testament to the skill and ingenuity of the ancient Greek culture.
The Tower of the Winds was capped off by one of the first known wind vanes, an image of the Greek God Triton, messenger of the sea. Some sources believe it was built by Andronicus of Cyrrhus around 50 BC. However, there is some conjecture that it may have been constructed in the 2nd century BC before the rest of the forum was built.
At 12 meters in height with a circumference of 8 meters it dominated the forum and must have been an impressive site with the weathervane of Triton dominating the top of the structure indicating the wind direction to the residents of Athens.
The frieze under the roof capping features the eight wind direction deities.
The eight sundials and weather vane were placed high so that they could easily be seen from all directions.
The water clock or "clepsydra" inside the building was driven by water coming down from the nearby Acropolis, yet another example of the sophisticated engineering that the Greeks were famous for.