Theatre of Dionysus in Athens
World’s First Theatre
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Best time to visit
Mar - May, Sep - Nov
- Ideal for friends
About Theatre of Dionysus in Athens
The theatre of Dionysus is considered to be the world’s first theatre. As the name goes, the theatre itself is dedicated to the Greek god Dionysus, the god of wine. The theatre was built around 6th century BC and renovated in the 4th century BC to accommodate a total of 17000 spectators. The theatre underwent modernization under Roman rule and had been a centre of drama and festivals.
The theatre has seen the development of Greek theatre and drama through its early years and is witness to an important aspect of Greek cultural history. The theatre had always been going through constant renovations and upgrades throughout history under different rulers. From replacing the original wood with stone to the use of marble, stone carvings, the building of a new stage, adding marble thrones to the periphery and the constant addition of sections for seating as well as new stages have all been incorporated into the theatre throughout the years. Currently, the theatre has been partially restored by the government which had been entirely destroyed during the Byzantine period.
The theatre of Dionysus was used as a venue to host festivals, drama competitions and enactments all the same and was an important centre of Greek culture and theatre. There was even a statue of God Dionysus placed so that the deity himself could watch the performances and sacrifices that were being offered. Originally built as a part of the temple precinct and of the 9 identified building phases, what remains today is mainly from the Roman era and the oldest parts being the stone seats which were added in 330 B.C. and could accommodate up to 17000 people. Today all that remains are the 20 sections used for seating by commoners, elected rulers and the priests. Built on the southern slope of the Acropolis in a natural hallow, the theatre has borne witness to great Greek tragedy plays and works of some of the most famous playwrights of ancient Greece.
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FAQ's of Athens
Read on to find out why our customers love us!
Yes, one can click pictures of the site.
The theatre complex was destroyed during the Byzantine period, and the theatre fell into disuse and decayed ever since.
The site was rediscovered, and major restorations were done under archaeologist Wilhelm Dorpfeld.
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