Athens Sights & Monuments - One of the massive buildings in the capital of Greece is the Library of Hadrian. This building in Athens, with its high walls and once-strong walls, was once called "a huge quadrangle." It used to be a library. One hundred columns of Phrygian stone, alabaster ceilings, gilded rooms, paintings, and statues—such magnificence just could not remain obscure. Emperor Hadrian built the library in 132 AD. It is a quiet place near the bustling bazaar. It had only one entrance, a high surrounding wall at its long sides, and an inner courtyard with a central pool and garden surrounded by marble columns. At the eastern end, there were many rooms that seemed like an actual library, where papyrus books were stored. These rooms were also lecture halls and reading rooms. The library was heavily damaged during the Herulian invasion of 267 A.D. and was repaired in 407–412 A.D. In Byzantine times, three Christian churches were built at that site, whose remains have partly survived. ►View all Athens sightseeing