Pinsteps. Theatre of Dyonissos in Athens
Places to visit in Athens. Languages: en

The birthplace and development of the ancient theatre, both as an art form and architectural concept, can be traced back to this location. It originated from the temple of Dionysos, with the higher plateau called the orchestra being the final destination of the festive procession in the Great Dionysia and the site for the circular Dionysian dances performed by worshipers wearing animal and satyr masks, singing the Dithyramb to honour the god and accompanied by the sound of the aulos. Thespis, credited as the founder of the first documented tragic play, won first prize in the Dionysia of 534 BC. Later, comedy and satyr plays were added to the theatrical competition.

The first theatre, the place where the spectators sat, was situated on the southern slope of the Athenian Acropolis and was referred to as theatre. The ancient sources mention the ikria, a wooden framework of large posts supporting the seats, and recent archaeological evidence confirms that the first theatre was indeed constructed of wood. The wooden infrastructure of the theatre was renovated and expanded with a stage building added after the mid-5th century BC as part of the Periclean building program that included religious and cultural venues such as the Odeon of Pericles. The Peloponnesian War disrupted work on the first monumental stone theatre but eventually resumed after the mid-4th century BC, mainly due to the fiscal policies of Eubulus and Lycurgus. The design of the new Athenian theatre, centred around the circular orchestra, remained the theatrical archetype to this day and was estimated to have a capacity of between 17,000 and 19,000. As theatre types evolved, so did the stage building, with the P-shaped facade being remodelled and monumentalism during the Roman period with the addition of a second storey. During the reign of the philhellene emperor Hadrian, the theatre was transformed into an impressive structure that hosted celebrations of the emperor as a New Dionysos, adorned with monumental statues of the three genres of Dramatic Poetry and bases for statues of the emperor.

In 267 AD, the theatre suffered extensive damage during the Herulian raids, but some of its former glory was restored when the stage front was repaired and embellished with reliefs depicting scenes from the life of the god. The ban on pagan religion and the construction of the early Christian Basilica in the 6th century AD marked the end of the theatre's role, which was linked to numerous highlights in human cultural history.

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List of routes including this place
Evgeny Praisman
Athens: walking through history. My trip to Athens on Feb 11, 2023

A walking trip through the streets of Athens can be a fantastic way to dive into the rich history of this ancient city. Here is a trial that explores some of the most exciting sites in Athens:

  1. Start at Athina Avenue and head towards Monastiraki Street. This lively street is lined with shops and street vendors selling various goods, including souvenirs, clothing, and jewellery.

  2. Take a stroll down the lane and enjoy the sights and sounds of the bustling marketplace. From Monastiraki Street, continue to the Plaka neighbourhood, one of the oldest and most charming neighbourhoods in Athens. The Plaka is known for its narrow, winding streets, picturesque houses, and traditional Greek tavernas. Visit the old house of the Venizelos family, a historic building once the home of the famous Greek politician Eleftherios Venizelos.

  3. From the Plaka, head up to the Anafiotika district, a charming neighbourhood built on the slopes of the Acropolis. Here you can visit some of the most delicious restaurants in Athens, offering traditional Greek cuisine and breathtaking views of the city.

  4. After exploring the Anafiotika district, make your way to the southern slope of the Acropolis, where you can see the ruins of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the Theatre of Dionysus.

  5. End your walking trip by visiting the Areopagus and Pnyx Hills, two historic sites located just outside the city centre. The Areopagus Hill was once a seat of the judicial court in ancient Athens and is also associated with the spread of Christianity into Greece. Pnyx Hill was the location of the assembly of the people, where citizens gathered to discuss and vote on important political matters. From these two hills, you will see breathtaking views of the city in the sunset and gain a deeper understanding of its rich history and cultural heritage.

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
Здравствуйте! Меня зовут Женя, я путешественник и гид. Здесь я публикую свои путешествия и путеводители по городам и странам. Вы можете воспользоваться ими, как готовыми путеводителями, так и ресурсом для создания собственных маршрутов. Некоторые находятся в свободном доступе, некоторые открываются по промо коду. Чтобы получить промо код напишите мне сообщение на телефон +972 537907561 или на и я с радостью вам помогу! Иначе, зачем я всё это делаю?
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