EPIDAURUS | MAINLAND GREECE | PELOPONNESE
The Epidaurus theatre is one of the best-preserved ancient theatres, renowned for its incomparable acoustics.
The Epidaurus theatre is one of the best-preserved ancient theatres, renowned for its incomparable acoustics. Well-known Greek and foreign companies present celebrated works by the great ancient Greek dramatists Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes and others. Don’t miss at least one of these extraordinary events!
THE GREAT THEATRE
T. 0030 2753022009
The most famous theatre of antiquity was built, according to Pausanias, in about 300 BC by the Argive architect and sculptor Polykleitos the Younger.
It is one of the best-preserved ancient theatres, renowned for its incomparable acoustics, the result of particularly advanced technical expertise for that period.
It was the only theatre to maintain its circular stage in the Roman period, while the others were made semi-circular. Its original capacity was for about 6,000 spectators. In the 2nd c. BC, the upper bank of tiers was added and the number of spectators considerably increased.
It was destroyed three times:
By Sulla’s soldiers (the Romans later rebuilt it), by the Visigoths and by the Byzantine emperor Theodosios.
The Ionic columns of the stage no longer exist, but the perfect acoustics have lost none of their quality.
It is built on a slope of Mt Kynortion, which acts as resonator, so that sound reaches the highest tiers.
Best things to do and see in epidaurus
SANCTUARY OF ASKLEPIOS
This is in a pine grove not far from the theatre. It was the principal sanctuary of the god of healing, Asklepios, and reached its apogee in the 4th c. BC. There are many interesting architectural monuments in the area such as the second sanctuary at the back of the theatre, the temple of Apollo Maleata, where the faithful washed their hands and made their first sacrifice. You will see the gymnasium, the ruins of the Kotyos Portico and the small wrestling ring (palaistra). The remnants of the temple of the goddess Artemis are still visible, also of the large guest-house and the “avaton” (“not to be trodden”) where the sick awaited the apparition of the god Asklepios. The rotunda (tholos) was the sanctuary’s most resplendent edifice, erected by Polykleitos the Younger, while on the base of the principal building, the temple of Asklepios, the work of the architect Theodotos (375-380 BC), there once stood the renowned chryselephantine (gold and ivory) statue of the god. and wild majestic sea, the colorful sunset pallets of the sky.
MUSEUM OF ANCIENT EPIDAURUS
Finds from the Asklepion are exhibited in the three rooms: ceramic decorative objects, surgical instruments of the period, sculptures and the capital of a column, by Polykleitos the Younger.
In summer, the theatre presents performances within the Epidaurus Festival. Well-known Greek and foreign companies present celebrated works by the great ancient Greek dramatists Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes and others.
Don’t miss at least one of these extraordinary events!
Information on the season and programme of performances as well as
OLD EPIDAURUS -SMALL THEATRE
On the site of the present village of Old Epidavros there stood the city of Ancient Epidaurus. Excavations have brought to light traces of a Doric temple, an ancient cemetery and remains of Roman walls. A few years ago on the peninsula the marble-built and well-preserved small theatre (4th c. BC) was discovered. It held 6,000 spectators and today, after 23 centuries of silence, is again the scene for cultural events.
EPIDAURUS TIPS & INFORMATION
HOW TO GET TO ANTIPAROS
By car in 2 1/2hrs from Athens.
By intercity bus (KTEL), from Kifissou Station, Athens, Tel. 0030 2105124913
HOW TO GET AROUND
Definitely by your own transport or with an organized tour.
BEST SEASON TO VISIT EPIDAURUS
All year round, but especially during summer to attend a performance at the
EPIDAURUS USEFUL TELEPHONES NUMBERS
Greek Festival 0030 2109282900
Epidaurus Health Centre 0030 2753022222
Epidaurus Museum 0030 2753022009
Epidaurus Police 0030 2753041203