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The water works in Ancient Athens - Acropolis Hill

.3000 bc

3500-3000 BC: During the Neolithic period an underground water vein of the Acropolis hill is known to the Athenians and it is exploited by 22 wells.

 

.1500 bc

Second half of the 13th century BC: The cave of Klepsydra is discovered and cleared for the first time during the Acropolis Hill fortification works.

During these works, the Mycenaean spring is also discovered at the north side of Acropolis, inside a cave. It was in use only for a short period (30-40 years) and then blocked probably due to a landslide or earthquake. However the cave kept being used as a secret passage to the Acropolis. 

.1000 bc

6th century BC: the small Asklepieion fountain house is built, as auxiliary building to the Asklepios temple and sanctuary.

 

.500 bc

470-460 BC: The klepsydra fountain house is built to exploit the underground spring. 

 

.0

1st century AD:  Due to a landslide, large masses of collapsed rock completely block the entrance of the Klepsydra fountain house. Repair work is carried out and a new entrance is created on the north side.

Late 2nd – mid 3rd century AD: A new landslide completely destroys the Klepsydra fountain house. To overcome this in the following years, a well is opened in order to draw water through the fallen rock and a solid vaulted construction is created above it for protection. 

mid 4th century AD: the temple of Asklepios is demolished to be replaced by a Christian temple, that is again devoted though to Saints Anargyroi of healing. 

.500 ad  
.1000 ad

10th – 11th century AD:  The water from the Asklepios spring is considered “holy” by the Christians and to this end a chapel dedicated to the Holy Apostles is built on the same site. 

Mid 13th century AD: During the Frankish occupation of Athens the spring of Klepsydra which is still in use undergoes repairs. 

.1500 ad

15th - 19th century AD:  During the Turkish occupation the Klepsydra spring is forgotten, abandoned for many years.

1822: During the rebellion against the Turks, the klepsydra spring is rediscovered by a Greek archaeologist and its existence is made known to the Greek defenders of the city.

1824:  The Greek national hero Odysseas Androutsos, is found dead in the yard of the Klepsydra fountain house, after having being arrested by his former companion Ioannis Gouras. 

.2000 ad

1941:  The cave of the Mycenean spring is linked to a heroic moment of recent Greek history: The secret  passage was used by two Greek students that reached Acropolis and took down the Nazi flag.

1997 - 2004: Due to the project for the Unification of the Archaeological Sites of Athens the ancient Peripatos  route that surrounded the Acropolism including the site of the Klepsydra fountain, is now accessible to the public (visitors enter from Theorias St. or the theatre of Dionysus).

2009: The Greek Ministry of Culture approves a reconstruction scheme for the side walls and court yard of the Klepsydra fountain that have suffered great damage due to erosion.