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Export To pdf- Ancient Epidavros
Ancient Epidavros
Why Visit
Archaia Epidavros, or as it was called before: Palea Epidavros, is a small fishing village at the
eastcoast of the Peloponnese.
Between the orange and olive groves at the foot of the mountains, with two large bays at the Saronic
Gulf, Epidavros is an oasis in Argolida. The city had two natural harbours: the northern, military
harbour, and the southern trade harbour. The remains of amphorae for the storage of oil and wine
can still be found on the sea floor. The surrounding countryside is now coloured bright with orange
trees, whereas long ago the valley and hillsides were full of vineyards.
The main attraction of the area and the mast to visit is the Epidavros Theater the huge theater that
delighted Pausanias for its symmetry and beauty, which is used once again for dramatic
performances, the ceremonial Hestiatoreion (banqueting hall), baths and a palaestra. The theater
was designed in the 4th century BC. The original 34 rows were extended in Roman times by another
21 rows. As is usual for Greek theatres (and as opposed to Roman ones), the view on a lush
landscape behind the skênê is an integral part of the theatre itself and is not to be obscured. It seats
up to 15,000 people.
The theatre is marveled for its exceptional acoustics, which permit almost perfect intelligibility of
unamplified spoken word from the proscenium or skênê to all 15,000 spectators, regardless of their
seating Famously, tour guides have their groups scattered in the stands and show them how they
can easily hear the sound of a match struck at center-stage
History - Architecture
Epidaurus was not independent of Argos and not included in Argolis until the time of the Romans.
With its supporting territory, it formed the small territory calledEpidauria. Reputed to be the
birthplace of Apollo's son Asclepius, the healer, Epidaurus was known for its sanctuary situated
about five miles (8 km) from the town, as well as its theater, which is once again in use today. The
cult of Asclepiusat Epidaurus is attested in the 6th century BC, when the older hill-top sanctuary
ofApollo Maleatas was no longer spacious enough.
The asclepieion at Epidaurus was the most celebrated healing center of the Classical world, the
place where ill people went in the hope of being cured. To find out the right cure for their ailments,
they spent a night in the enkoimeteria, a big sleeping hall. In their dreams, the god himself would
advise them what they had to do to regain their health. Found in the sanctuary, there was a guest
house for 160 guestrooms. There are also mineral springs in the vicinity which may have been used
in healing.
Asclepius, the most important healer god of antiquity, brought prosperity to the sanctuary, which in
the 4th and 3rd centuries BC embarked on an ambitious building program for enlarging and
reconstruction of monumental buildings. Fame and prosperity continued throughout the Hellenistic
period. In 87 BC the sanctuary was looted by the Roman general Sulla, and in 67 BC, it was
plundered by pirates. In the 2nd century AD, the sanctuary enjoyed a new upsurge under the
Romans, but in AD 395 the Goths raided the sanctuary.
Even after the introduction of Christianity and the silencing of the oracles, the sanctuary at
Epidauros was still known as late as the mid 5th century, although as aChristian healing center.
Museums - Archeological
The prosperity brought by the Asklepieion enabled Epidaurus to construct civic monuments too: the
huge theatre that delighted Pausanias for its symmetry and beauty, which is used once again for
dramatic performances, the ceremonial Hestiatoreion (banqueting hall), baths and a palaestra. 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. As is usual for Greek theatres (and as opposed to
Roman ones), the view on a lush landscape behind the skênê is an integral part of the theatre itself
and is not to be obscured. It seats up to 15,000 people.
The theatre is marveled for its exceptional acoustics, which permit almost perfect intelligibility of
unamplified spoken word from the proscenium or skênêto all 15,000 spectators, regardless of their
seating (see Ref., in Greek). Famously, tour guides have their groups scattered in the stands and
show them how they can easily hear the sound of a match struck at center-stage. A 2007 study
by Nico F. Declercq and Cindy Dekeyser of the Georgia Institute of Technology indicates that the
astonishing acoustic properties are the result of the advanced design: 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.
Beaches
Kalamaki beach, Polemarcha beach, Gialasi beach, Aliotou beach
Gallery

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