The Theatre of Epidaurus is probably the best preserved ancient theatre in Greece and its beauty and grandeur cannot stop impressing the modern visitors. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage.
It was constructed in 4th century BC. Pausanias believed that it was constructed by the famous sculptor Polykleitos, but an epigraphical evidence proved that it dates only to c. 330-320 BC, making Pausanias’ theory untenable.
The cavea (the space where the spectators’s seats are) is about 114 metre wide and has 55 rows – 34 in the lower section and 21 in the higher section – , which had the capacity of 13,000-14,000. It is taking advantage of the natural slope of the hill.
The orchestra forms a perfect circle of 20 metre in diametre.
The stage building itself is badly preserved and anyway not visible being covered with a modern provisory stage to be used during the thearical and musical festivals.
When we visited here in the summer 2008, there were some foreign (= non Greek) school groups that – I presume – were doing archaeological tour of Greece. Some groups were more serious and students were taking turns to read out the results of their research, but the other groups were just boisterous bunches making a fuss and shouting to check the acoustic effectiveness of the theatre. These groups started to shout at each other to poke fun. They both were spoiling enjoyment of other visitors. A shame.