The Theater of Dionysus

The Theater of Dionysus was built in the 6th century BC, during the reign of King Pisistratus, a prominent Greek politician who seized the power in Athens between 561 BC. and 527 BC. The theater is associated with the cult of the god Dionysus. It was a place where the famous Dionysian festivals were celebrated. The very birth of the theater as an art is associated with these holidays, as an important part of them were poetry competitions and dramatic performances.

The theater of Dionysius accommodated about 15,000 people. The seats were arranged in a semicircle, called theatron. The orchestra was erected in the center – a round platform where the action took place. The remains we see today most likely date back to the Roman era. The Romans used the arena to hold gladiator fights and animal fights. The balustrade, which was built around the orchestra, was intended to protect the spectators. Over the centuries, the theater has been modified and expanded. Archaeologists have identified at least 9 different phases of construction. The stone places were placed in 330 BC, replacing the wooden ones. The first rows were reserved for notables and some of the reliefs can still be seen on them today.

In 2009 the Greek government decides on the restoration of the Dionysian Theater. The ambitious project is worth 6 million euros. After its performance, there are no plans to use the theater to stage plays and other performances.

The Theater of Dionysus has the same opening hours as the Acropolis and does not require a separate entrance.

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