Epidaurus Archaeological Site
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Epidaurus is known especially as the birthplace of Apollo´s son, Asclepius, the most renowned healer of the ancient times. There is evidence of Asclepius´ cult from as early as the 6th century BC. The local sanctuary was located about 8 km from the town, and there was a theatre built nearby, too, which has been restored and reopened recently. In Epidaurus there is also a small museum where you can admire interesting artifacts discovered in the surroundings.
The local sanctuary was well-known in the whole Mediterranean as the biggest healing centre of its time. The sick came to stay there overnight, with the god supposed to reveal the way they should be treated in a dream. The beackground for pilgrims included 160 bedrooms and the area also had healing springs.
During the 3rd and 4th centuries, the whole complex was enlarged and rebuilt considerably. During its period of prosperity, the sanctuary survived the plundering of both the Romans (Sula in 87 BC) and the pirates (67 BC), and then continued until the 5th century AD under the auspices of Christian church.
The great economic contribution of Asclepius´ sanctury made it possible to construct many costly and beautiful edifices. Apart fromthe edifices related to the baths, and so the very cult of Asclepius, it was especially the theatre.
The Epidaurus theatre was bult in the 4th century BC according to a draft by Polykleitos the Younger. It has a classical Greek construction of a sector of a circle with a view on the beautiflu surrounding landscape, becoming an integral part of Greek drama. It is also one of the few Greek theatres where the traditional circular scene has been preserved (the Romans mostly rebuilt it to an oval one that didn´t have such good acoustic conditions). During the Roman era, the original 34 rows of seats were enlarged by more 21 rows, and so, the theatre could accommodate up to 15 thousand spectators. It has become famous for its excellent acoustic conditions you can still admire even nowadays.