We cannot be sure of the exact number and location of all the gates of the ancient city of Piraeus. However, today three gates can be seen: the City Gate, the Middle Gate and Ietionia Gate, all of them known as the City Gates.
The City Gates are extremely important as, according to archeologists, they constitute the oldest part of Piraeus fortification works.
The City Gate & the Middle Gate
The City Gate is the oldest one, built at the beginning of the 5th century BC. Through the City Gate passed the main road to Athens.
What can be seen today is the bases of the two towers of the gate. Beneath the avenue H. Skylitsi lies – in excellent condition – the yard that actually connected the two towers.
The Middle Gate
Only 100 meters away from the City Gate there is the Middle Gate, probably built much later. More specifically, when the middle or southern wall was built by Pericles, arose the need to build the Middle Gate, destined to secure communication with Athens in case of siege.
Just for the Record Info
This magnificent piece of fortification was preserved almost intact until the early 20th century.
However, during the 7 year dictatorship (1967-1974) in Greece and while A. Skylitsis was Mayor of Piraeus, the whole archaeological site was embanked and the once united space was divided into two parts separated by the avenue H. Skylitsi.
Later on, in the 90’s, the location around the City Gates became a popular night life destination, with lots of clubs and restaurants operating and actually impeding any kind of archeological work in the area.
Fortunately, in 1996, systematic excavations on the site began and today we can hopefully believe that soon we will enjoy an archeological park, uniting the two Gates.