The Theater of Epidaurus Asclepius built on the west side of Kinortiou the late Classical Period, circa 340-330 BC, as part of the overall reconstruction of the sanctuary and chrisimopoiiithike least until the third century. A.D. This unique monument, the finest and most famous ancient Greek theater, which combines elegance with perfect acoustics, is Pausanias work of Polykleitos (the youngest), the creator of the Dome in the same sanctuary.
The monument was built to have them in it musicians, singing and dramatic struggles Asclipia. Also given in this drama performances, which included the cult of Asclepius. In the middle of the second century. BC, the auditorium was extended and its capacity increased from about 8,000 to 13,000 to 14,000 spectators. At the same time came the skene so that the actors play exclusively at logeion, ie the platform above the stage, rather than in front of it. When Romaiokrateia maintained the characteristics of Greek theater, even after the repair of the damage caused by the invasion of the Heruli in 267 BC, mainly in stage building.
The auditorium has been built into the hillside with calcareous material and the retaining walls are made of limestone. A tiled frieze, width 1.90 m, separates the hollow portion of the first built by a newer section, epitheatro. Thirteen radial staircases lead to 34 rows of seats twelve equal tiers of the initial segment, the epitheatro consists of 22 rows and 23 stairs leading to 21 rows of seats. The first and last line of the original section and the first of the new series have back seats. The auditorium was surrounded by a corridor and a protective limestone wall. In lanes built monumental gates bivalve from which ramps (anavathres) lead to the fore. A paved walkway separates the auditorium from the orchestra that has a diameter of 20 meters, the center of which stands the base of the altar of Dionysus (Thymeli).
The built of limestone scenery edifice unearthed ruins. It consists of a foreground and a two-story stage, flanked by wings. Originally colonnades with two pillars, one on the front of the proscenium, decorated with Ionic half-columns and the other in the rear of the ground floor hall of the scene. In the middle of the second century. B.C. this side closed, whereas the front of the stage floor opened up five hits to logeion. Then transported from the scene to the moving floor paintings that were placed between piers for the configuration of the scene as the drama played out. The stage building and decorating sculptures, of which few survived.
The harmony of this theater due to the unique design based on a regular pentagon, which entered the orchestra, and the use of three centers for the formulation of curved rows of seats of the auditorium. Famous is the acoustics of this theater.
The monument was brought to light by the excavations of P. Kavadias the years 1881-83. Initially in 1907 and during the period 1954-1963 were restoration works in doorways of lanes, retaining walls and in extreme stands the initial part of the auditorium.
Since 1988 the maintenance of the theater took the Epidaurus Monuments Conservation Commission originally anastilonontas extreme western grandstand epitheatrou of the doorway of the west lane and two stormwater drains the orchestra. The care of the monument is ongoing and aims to restore the damage inflicted on the monument from natural causes but from its use.
Since 1954, made in their natural setting each summer performances of ancient drama.
Editor Commission Restoration Epidaurus