The North Gate of the South Agora
The gate of the South Agora in the city of Miletus is one of the most important and most famous monuments of Roman architecture. It is a monumental access structure, which follows the form of the lavish columnar façades adorned with statues and architectural decorative elements. It was built in the time of Hadrian (117-138 AD) in the place of a former Doric propylon.
The two-storey U-shaped building, with dimensions 14,71X29 m., was built on a three stepped crepis. Three vaulted openings were formed in the first storey, while niches framed by pillars with Corinthian capitals and housing emperors’ statues or groups of emperors fighting against the barbarians decorated the second storey.
Aediculae with composite columns based on high pedestals, which carried richly decorated entablature, were formed at the gate’s façade. The columns of the second storey were of Corinthian order and were smaller in scale. The frieze of the upper storey was decorated with relief motifs, garlands and bucrania. The sides of the edifice were crowned with triangular pediments, while the two columnar porches on either side of the central niche bore half pediments
In the 3rd century the gate was restored after damages caused by an earthquake. In 538, at the time of Emperor Justinian, the market gate was incorporated into the city wall, whereas an earthquake destroyed it in the 10th or the 11th century. In the beginning of the 20th century German archaeologists uncovered the architectural parts of the monument. The gate is now reconstructed to its original size in the Pergamon Museum, using much of the original material. The crepis and only few architectural fragments are preserved at the site of Miletus.