I’m so glad we took a detour to visit Epidaurus with the best-preserved theatre from the ancient world.
The theater was designed by Polykleitos the Younger in the 4th century BC. The original 34 rows were extended in Roman times by another 21 rows. In Greek theatres (opposed to Roman ones) the view of the lush landscape behind the skênê is an integral part of the theatre itself and should not be obscured. It seats up to 14,000 people. The rows of limestone seats filter out low-frequency sounds, such as the murmur of the crowd, and amplify high-frequency sounds from the stage.
I tested the acoustics. The kids ran up to the very top of the theatre and I performed a monologue from Antigone.
It was epic.
Two older ladies were seated off to the side and applauded and said they’d been waiting a long time there for someone to come perform!
On the other side of the museum are the ruins of the Temple of Asclepius.
It is said to have rivaled the major sites the Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia and Apollo at Delphi. This temple was built in the early fourth century BCE but only foundations remain of the Doric temple, which consisted of six columns by eleven, measuring 80 feet in length.
A nice little museum is there with many treasures from the Temple of Asclepius.
The kids loved the well-preserved columns and statues in the museum.
Tickets to all the sites of Epidaurus are €6 for adults. Children are FREE!
We loved seeing the theatre and the ancient temple of Asclepius. It’s a great side trip that didn’t take too long.
Check out our Eating Through Greece post! See our whole Greek trip itinerary here.