Epidaurus Things to Do

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    The theater
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Best Rated Things to Do in Epidaurus

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    Archaeological Museum of Epidaurus

    by janetanne Updated Jan 25, 2006

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    Family Group?
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    The museum was built between 1902 and 1909 by the excavator of the sanctuary, P. Kavvadias. It contains collections of building inscriptions, hymns and inscriptions concerning the cures of Asklepios, Greek and Roman votive sculptures, and among many other things, a Doric column from the Temple of Asklepios.

    In addition, there is one very beautiful example of a Corinthian capital that was found in a fill below the foundations of the Tholos which had been intentionally buried there in antiquity. Why it had been buried in such a manner remains a mystery. It is however, thought to be the 'model' of the capitals of the inner colonnade of the Tholos, which was in turn designed by the famous sculpter, Polykleitos the Younger.
    ]
    N.B.
    All photos have been taken by me with my Canon Sureshot 3.5 ml, a simple digital camera. All dialogues, typos and any mispelled words, also have been written by me.

    I hope my personal impressions of the places I have visited are of some help to those who haven't travelled to these destinations. I've avoided writing long passages with detailed historical and artistic information about the locations and art works. I'll leave this to your own research, either in the library or from reference books available in bookstores and at sites themselves.

    I have done this mostly because I find it somewhat tiring to read such accounts on these pages and secondly, because in many cases, I just don't have accurate information at hand when I am writing my tips. Finally, I believe that the purpose of VT is not necessarily to 'rewrite' travel books or to copy something that someone else has spent hours, days, months and perhaps years writing...but, instead to give our own personal perspectives, feelings and impressions about the places we have seen and visited. Nothing more, nothing less.

    TICKETS:

    Full admission 6 Euros (For both the museum and the archaeological site)
    Reduced admission 3 Euros (Students from countries outside th E.U., citizens of the E.U. aged over 65)

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    Ancient Theatre of Epidavros

    by janetanne Updated Jan 27, 2006

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    Can you hear me?
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    Epidavros

    The theatre at Epidavros is the best-preserved example of a classical Greek amphitheatre in the Mediterranean and a person on the top row can hear a conversation being spoken in normal tones in the centre of the theatre, a remarkable feat since the theatre can hold 14,000 people. It has been said that you can 'hear a pin drop,' in the centre of the theatre stage from the top row. When I last visited, there was a group of students rehearsing a play with their teacher. I was sitting at the top and indeed could clearly hear the voice of the students reciting their parts. This unique phenomenon is a combination of the position of the marble in the amphitheatre and the natural surroundings.

    The Epidavros Festival takes place here in the summer months with programs of Ancient Greek Dramas.

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Sanctuary of Asclepios

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Mar 23, 2008

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    Sanctuary of Asclepios reconstruction
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    The cult of Asclepius became increasingly popular in ancient Greece. In fact the ancient Greeks did just that in order to pay tribute to their spiritual entities in the face of Asclepios, and to ask the gods for remedies for their physical ailments. It was a healing center as well as a cultural center in ancient times.

    Pilgrims flocked to asclepieion to be healed. They slept overnight and reported their dreams to a priest the following day. He prescribed a cure, often a visit to the baths or a gymnasium.
    There are also mineral springs in the vicinity which may have been used in healing.

    The sanctuary of Asclepios at Epidaurus is a spiritual place and without doubt worth a visit! Though remainings of the sanctuary don't look very impressive (a few kept since then) but the atmosphere of this place is magnificent.

    You may watch or listen the music out of my 4 min 03 sec VIDEO-Clip Epidaurus Museum, Sanctuary&Theatre out of my YouTube channel.

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    Ancient Theatre

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Mar 23, 2008

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    Epidaurus - Ancient Theatre
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    The Theater at Epidaurus is the largest and most impressive of ancient Greek and is in excellent state of preservation. It was built in the 4th century B.C. by the architect Polyclitus the Younger and was unrivalled for its acoustics. The prosperity brought by the Asklepieion enabled Epidauros to construct civic monuments too: the huge theater that delighted everybody for its symmetry and beauty.
    The original 34 rows were extended in Roman times by another 21 rows (there are 55 rows now).

    As is usual for Greek theaters (and as opposed to Roman ones), the view on a lush landscape behind the skene is an integral part of the theater itself and is not to be obscured.
    Famously, tour guides have their groups scattered in the stands and show them how they can easily hear the sound of a match struck at center-stage.

    The theater is marveled for its exceptional acoustics, which permit almost perfect intelligibility of unamplified spoken word from the proscenium or skene to all 15,000 spectators, regardless of their seating.

    Today the theater is still in use. Every year, from June to August, classical tragedies and comedies are performed here and attract thousands of Greek and foreign visitors.

    You may watch my high resolution photos of the Epidaurus Ancient Theatre on Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 38' 5.87" N 23º 7' 40.88" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3.

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    Archaeological Museum

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Mar 22, 2008

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    Epidaurus - Archaeological Museum

    The museum houses the most important finds of the ongoing excavations.
    The museum of Epidaurus was built in 1902-1909 by the excavator of the sanctuary, P. Kavvadias, in order to house the partial reconstructions of the most important monuments of the Asklepieion, as well as the most significant excavation finds.

    Full admission: € 6 (For both the museum and the archaeological site)
    Reduced admission: € 3 (students from countries outside the E.U., citizens of the E.U. aged over 65)
    Operation Hours:
    Monday:11.00-17.00
    Tuesday-Friday: 07.30-17.00
    Saturday-Sunday: 07.30-17.00
    January 6th, Shrove Monday, Holy Saturday, Easter Monday,
    Holy Spirit, 28th October:07.30-17.00

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    Study the Ancient Sculpture

    by janetanne Written Jan 27, 2006

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    Statue Representing 'Health and Healing'
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    The sculptures that are housed in the museum at Epidavros are mostly copies of the original that have been taken to the National Museum of Archeology in Athens. Neverthless, one can imagine...or perhaps not imagine...how the artists of that time were working. The expressions captured on the faces, the lines of the bodies, the realistic and symbolic gestures are unbelievable! How did they do this? Why are there not artist today capable of creating similar pieces of timeless art? Time? Priorities? Lack of interest?
    Whatever the reasons, our modern culture is certainly less rich...in my opinion...which is only my opinion. This is not to admit, however, that our times has not created what one could say is art...but certainly of a different 'nature.' Whatever, you will not leave the museums of Greece without feeling a sense of total and complete awe if you are sensitive to the skills required in creating such masterpieces.

    I have put but just a few pictures of what I think are some of the most impressive pieces in the museum at Epidavros. You will have to go there yourself to see the rest...a well worthwhile venture!

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    The sanctuary of Asklepios

    by magor65 Written Jul 18, 2006

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    the sanctuary of Asklepios

    Although it is the theatre which nowadays attracts the visitors to Epidaurus, we must remember that in the first place it was the sanctuary of Asklepios. People suffering from various ailments came here to seek help and advice. It used to be the best known healing centre of ancient world.
    Today we can see here ruins of hotels, houses for priest-doctors, hospital, the foundations of the temple of Asklepios and of the building called Abaton. It was here that patients spent a night waiting for a visit of the god-healer who came to them in the shape of snake. Another interesting building in the sanctuary was Tolos - much bigger than the one in Delphi. According to Pausanias the inner foundations of Tolos created the maze used for keeping snakes. There is a theory that the mentally ill were let into the maze and their encounter with snakes was a kind of primitive shock therapy. It's hard to say now if it worked.
    I am truly impressed when I realize how ancient Greeks perceived man as a whole, treating the body, intellect and spirit with equal care. It is also visible here in Epidaurus. First pilgrims purified their body and soul from an illness, then they spent time doing physical exercise and the process of healing was completed by intellectual treatment. That is why next to the temple of Askelepios there was a stadium and theatre.
    It's a pity that lots of visitors coming to Epidaurus today limit their sightseeing to the theatre, omitting the archeological site with the sanctuary. It's true that the area is quite big, but definitely worth walking around. And the balsam air smelling of herbs and pine makes you think that the spirit of Asklepios is still present here.

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Ancient Stadium

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Mar 22, 2008

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    Epidaurus - Ancient Stadium

    The ancient Greeks approached health from a holistic point of view, and the Sanctuary included a theater, gymnasium, and stadium as well as traditional medical treatments.

    The ruins sanctuary of Asclepius is an extended archaeological site with many interesting buildings and a newly excavated stadium. The most interesting building is by far the Tholos that unfortunately must be experienced by some distance since archaeologists are working on restoring it.

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    Theatre

    by magor65 Written Jul 18, 2006

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    theatre

    The theatre in Epidaurus is an excellent example of perfect harmony between nature and architecture. It blends into lush green hills around and constitutes the whole with them. The trees at the top offer welcome shade, so it's no wonder that tourists, though exhausted, climb up to the 55th row of seats where they can find some rest from the merciless sun. What's more, from here they can fully appreciate the widely-known acoustics of the place. Whenever you come here you are bound to witness at least a modest presentation of the wonderful qualities of the theatre. Our guide proved them doing some experiments including dropping a coin - and, YES, we could hear the clinking sound very clearly. She then left us to ponder for a while on the wisdom and ingenuity of Greek architects who created such a wonder. How inferior (at least sometimes) is a modern man who must use all those new technological devices to make himself heard and what a horrible noise these new inventions often produce. A moment of reflection was soon broken by a group of American youths who checked the acoustics of the theatre singing (or rather attempting to sing) some modern hits. It was time to leave ...

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    Ancient Artifacts Portraits of Healing

    by janetanne Updated Feb 11, 2006

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    Headless Horseman and Headless Horse!
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    "I never knew the meaning of peace until I arrived at Epidavros," wrote Henry Miller. A sanctuary to Asclepios, the god of healing, was established in the 6th century BC and reached international prestige by the 4th century BC. Historians believe that Asclepios was a king blessed with a talent for healing that eventually became deified for his abilities. The infirm from all parts of Greece were drawn to the sanctuary at Epidavros to be treated by those trained in the healing arts. Physicians (Asclepiadea) treated patients in an organized manner and museum records reflect the "70 miracles of Asclepios" and recipes for natural medicine and various treatments.

    The prestige and reputation acquired by Asclepios as the major god of healing led to great economic prosperity for the sanctuary which made it possible to build large monuments to aid in the healing. Temples, porticoed buildings, and mineral baths were erected to treat the infirm guests. A library and gymnasium were also on site and games were held at the sanctuary, almost on a level with the greatest international festivals. Worshippers would come to Epidavros for a miracle cure, but stay for a longer period to rest, reflect, take mineral baths, and diet, departing much healthier.

    Today, you can still go to Epidavros to 'heal your city-smogged soul.' The peaceful grounds still remain and the statues in the museum will remind you of what it must have been like in the days of Asclepios.

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  • janetanne's Profile Photo

    Ancient Artifacts Portraits of Healing

    by janetanne Written Feb 11, 2006

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    Headless Horseman and Headless Horse!
    4 more images

    "I never knew the meaning of peace until I arrived at Epidavros," wrote Henry Miller. A sanctuary to Asclepios, the god of healing, was established in the 6th century BC and reached international prestige by the 4th century BC. Historians believe that Asclepios was a king blessed with a talent for healing that eventually became deified for his abilities. The infirm from all parts of Greece were drawn to the sanctuary at Epidavros to be treated by those trained in the healing arts. Physicians (Asclepiadea) treated patients in an organized manner and museum records reflect the "70 miracles of Asclepios" and recipes for natural medicine and various treatments.

    The prestige and reputation acquired by Asclepios as the major god of healing led to great economic prosperity for the sanctuary which made it possible to build large monuments to aid in the healing. Temples, porticoed buildings, and mineral baths were erected to treat the infirm guests. A library and gymnasium were also on site and games were held at the sanctuary, almost on a level with the greatest international festivals. Worshippers would come to Epidavros for a miracle cure, but stay for a longer period to rest, reflect, take mineral baths, and diet, departing much healthier.

    Today, you can still go to Epidavros to 'heal you city soul.' The peaceful grounds still remain and the statues in the museum will remind you of what it must have been like in the days of Asclepios.

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    Theatre (2)

    by magor65 Written Jul 18, 2006

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    theatre

    The three main components of a Greek theatre were the theatron, orchestra and skene. The theatron was the curved seating area for audience. The orchestra was the performance area for the chorus and actors. In its centre there usually was a stone altar to Dionysus. The skene was a stage building, whose wall served as a kind of background for actors.
    The theatre of Epidaurus, although representative of its times, had no equal. It could seat 14 thousand people. It had a circular orchestra, which was something rare in those times. The theatron consisiting of 55 rows was horizontally divided into two sections. The seats closest to the orchestra had back supports. Of course, the theatre in Epidaurus, as all other Greek theatres, was not enclosed by any walls. This fact made it possible to incorporate nature into the plot.

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    The theater

    by JLBG Written Jun 5, 2008

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    The theater

    The theater was built Polyclete the Young in the middle of the 4th century BC and is exceptionally well kept. It is famous both for the perfection of its proportions and for the quality of its acoustic. From the top row, you can hear even the faintest murmur uttered on the scene.

    During summer, it is used every night for ancient Greece’s theater shows. Even if you do not understand them, it is worth going to one of them, just for the sight and the sounds.

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    Asklepios

    by magor65 Written Jul 19, 2006

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    I think it's time to say something more about Asklepios whose sanctuary we visit in Epidaurus.
    According to mythology he was the son of Apollo and Koronis - a princess of Tesalia. Unfortunately, she was unfaithful to her her god-lover and met her sad destiny. Goddess Artemis shot her with arrows and then changed her body into a burning stake. Little Asklepios was brought up by Cheiron - a centaur famous for his wisdom and kindness. He taught Apollo's son the art of healing with plants. Soon Asklepios became so skilled that he was even able to raise the dead. This angered Hades who complained to Zeus. The father of gods replied: ' When someone breaks the laws of nature he has to be punished; nobody - neither god nor man - can change fate'. Then Zeus sent a thunderbolt which struck Asklepios dead.

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    Museum

    by magor65 Written Jul 19, 2006

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    Fragment of Propylaia

    On the way from the theatre to the sanctuary we pass a small building that houses a museum. Visitors can see here ancient medical instruments, inscriptions about the miraculous cures and votive sculptures ( many of which have been replaced by plaster casts, whereas originals are in the Archeological Museum in Athens). In the picture you can see a reconstructed part of the Propylaia leading to the sanctuary of Asklepios.

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