Epidaurus

Epidauros-theatre-1

Moving forward the best part of 1000 years, and from one UNESCO World Heritage site to another.  Epidaurus.  Probably the most celebrated healing centre in the classical world.  The Asklepieion is huge, far larger than the one in Bergama.  Most fascinating in the museum was the marble boards listing names, case histories, treatments and cures of various patients.  This includes fairly epidauros-museum-lionsrealistic descriptions of some surgical procedures.  There were also some really impressive pieces of sculpture.

The prosperity brought by the healing and cult centre enabled the construction of the theatre, which is the finest and most acoustically perfect of all Hellenistic theatres.  It is still used though there were no performances there whilst we were staying in the area.  Had there been anything staged, we would have tried to get tickets.

We got to hear people testing out the acoustics, bits of amateur impromptu performances.  The acoustics are remarkable.  At one point we were sat right at epidauros-jaythe rear and could clearly hear everything being said on the floor.  It is said that seated anywhere in the theatre it is easy to hear a match being struck on the stage.  We also heard what we thought was a kitten in the bushes behind us.  Both of us were utterly convinced we were hearing a kitten, until we located the source – a jay sitting in a bush.

Epidauros-stadiumThere is also a rather nice stadium, but more on those later, we went chasing games later on the trip.  Nemea, Olympia, so we’ll cover games and stadia in more detail in a later post.

Again we were fortunate.  We picked a day when a cruise ship was not disgorging tourists and shipping them around the area.  There were a few tourists, a few small buses, but nowhere near as packed as we thought it would be.

Epidauros-theatre-2

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6 responses to “Epidaurus

  1. Went on an extensive tour of Ancient Greek archaeological sites in 2001. Remember going to Epidaurus and seeing the casts of the various body parts healed there. Also remember the marvellous echo so resonant in these ancient amphitheatres and in this one in particular.

  2. . . a theater is astonishing condition – is that as is or the result of extensive restoration?

  3. I’m going to visit tomorrow. How strange we are both in the same area.

    • We’ve been home for a while now. It takes a while to process the photos. But we are sure you will enjoy! There is a cafe up on the hill along the coast road called ‘Stork’ which has amazing views (and, of course, priced to match).

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