The Ancient Theater of Epidaurus is one of the best preserved theaters of the Greek civilization. The remains at the site are considered by archaeologists as among the finest in the world.
The village where the theater is located is not far from Athens. The fastest way to get there is from Nafplion which is 2 1/2 hours from Athens. A travel agent can organize a trip to the site easily.
What to See
The theater used to have 34 rows only, but 21 rows were added by the Romans. The theater was famous for its excellent acoustics. If you go on a guided tour, you will see them scatter groups of people in the stands and show how the lighting of a match in the middle of the theater can be heard clearly.
This is possible because the limestone at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus amplifies the stage sounds while reducing the low frequency sounds.
Within the site is the Archaeological Museum of Epidaurus. Here you will see several objects on display, including fossils. Part of the attraction is the gorgeous vista of a verdant landscape. The theater has a capacity of 15,000.
To this day, researchers still marvel at how the sounds are amplified on the stage. They conclude it must have been the product of a highly advanced design.
The theater was built sometime in the 4th century by Polykleitos the Younger. It was designed for use in dramatic performances. It was in 1970 when the theater was discovered. Excavation began two years later. However, it would take several years before the entire theater could be excavated.
The theater was associated with Asklepios the god of the village. That is why visitors to the site today often drop by nearby Asklepion, known for being a center for healing. If you visit the sanctuary, you will see several temples. Epidaurus was not a part of Argolis until Roman times. The cult of the Asclepius was in place by the 6th century.
There is no admission fee to visit the theater. To watch the Epidaurus Festival, you have to buy tickets that cost anywhere from 15 to 50 Euros.
The Epidaurus Festival takes place yearly during the late spring. The show recreates the ancient theater in Greece. The show starts around 9:00 pm.
The Ancient Theater of Epidaurus is not just a typical archaeological site. It is actually one of the most beautiful in Greece, and well worth checking out.