The Tower of the Winds at Athens: architecture and function

Hermann J. Kienast

Photograph by Georg Zumstrull. Photo via website.

The Tower of the Winds at Athens is one of the most ingenious creations of ancient architecture. Based on an octagonal floor plan, the marble edifice is decorated immediately below the roof, with a frieze depicting eight winds as personifications. The building’s layout is highly sophisticated and accentuated by unusual technical gadgets: the eight outer wall segments exhibit sundials, while the interior accommodated a fascinating planetarium, the first monumental one we know of. The lecture explains all the architectural details and the mechanism of the Planetarium.

Hermann J. Kienast, former vice-chair of the German Archaeological Institute in Athens and a trained architect, has devoted his carrier to the study of ancient Greek architecture. For twenty years (1984-2004) he was head of excavations at the sanctuary of Hera on the island of Samos. Prof Kienast is a Member of the Academy of Sciences Athens and Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Athens.

Date: Wednesday, 7 March 2012 | 6.30 – 7.30pm

Venue: Theatre D, Old Arts Building, University of Melbourne, Parkville

Bookings: Register online. Registration opens on Monday, 16 January 2012 and close on Wednesday, 7 March 2012.