Epidaurus – Peloponnese, Greece
A Perfectly Preserved Ancient Greek Theater
The perfectly preserved ancient theater at Epidaurus, built in the 4th century B.C., has acoustics that continue to astound modern-day authorities. The beauty of its setting and its harmonious proportions are without equal.
Restorations since its rediscovery in the last century have been minimal: the original stage of beaten earth has been kept, and the original fifty-four tiers of seats accommodate 14,000, with the red VIP seating in the front rows.
Built with mechanical precision and an artist’s eye for the natural backdrop of peaceful rolling hills, the theater at Epidaurus has become a popular venue for the productions of the Festival of Ancient Drama. It was also, understandably, one of Maria Callas’s favorite places to perform.
It’s a magical place to watch the classics of Sophocles and Euripides, even if you don’t understand the language in which they’re performed. Epidaurus was the sanctuary of Asklepios, the Greek god of medicine, and it attracted the sick from near and far.
Their treatments consisted of physical activity, relaxation, baths, and intellectual pursuits, and so it seems natural that this renowned theater was integrated with one of the world’s first spas.