The river Eridanos of Ancient Athens

.1500 bc

Up to 11th century BC In prehistoric times River Eridanos often floods as it receives large quantities of water from the surrounding hills (Areopagus, Acropolis and Pnyx) in torrential downpours.

.1000 bc

Second half of the 6th century BC The river is set underground with the creation of two special canals and is connected to the Great Drain receiving waste water from it.

.500 bc

487 BC With the construction of the Themistoklean city wall, the riverbed of Eridanos is stabilised through a constructed channel built with stone and masonry.


394 BC The Eridanos riverbed is aligned again.


307 BC The Eridanos riverbed is aligned again.


86 BC Athens is conquered by the Roman General Sulla. Massive destruction of buildings and fortifications take place, including the complete collapse of the Eridanos river banks. Thus the banks have to be built once more, since the walls had completely collapsed and the river was again flowing free in its old bed.


2nd century AD — Eridanos River is already flowing almost entirely underground and has completely turned into a drain channel for waste waters. It is covered with roman vaulted chambers.
.500 ad


.1000 ad  
.1500 ad

1960 — The riverbed at the site of Kerameikos is discovered 8m below ground level during the archaeological excavation works. This is the only spot where the bed can be seen by visitors, occasionally flowing, creating a rich ecosystem in the Kerameikos site, in the heart of Athens.
.2000 ad

1992 — During the Metro works in Athens, the underground river is discovered flowing just next to Syntagma Square, 6 metres below ground level.

2000 — A small section of the Eridanos ancient riverbed is exhibited at Syntagma Metro Station, while in Monastiraki Metro station visitors can see its surviving vaulted bed, constructed during Roman times.