Acropolis - South Slope, Athens

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  • Athens - Acropolis - Stoa of Eumenes
    Athens - Acropolis - Stoa of Eumenes
    by Kuznetsov_Sergey
  • Acropolis - South Slope
    by mindcrime
  • Acropolis - South Slope
    by JessieLang
  • leics's Profile Photo

    Theatres, and stones...and a dog, of course.

    by leics Updated Dec 6, 2014

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    I enjoyed exploring the south slope of the Acropolis more than the main site itself. It is much less crowded, of course, but also has some fascinating structures.

    The Theatre of Dionysos is truly superb. Dating from the 4th century BC, this place heard the first performances of works by Aristophanes, Euripedes, Aeschylus.............an hugely evocative place. It could once seat 17000 people, although few of its tiers now remain. I especially liked the marble 'thrones' at the front: special seating for the wealthy and powerful (although I suspect they had cushions as well!). The frieze at the back of the performance area shows scenes from the life of Dionysos, the marble mosaic flooring is beautiful. One can site here and imagine.....

    The Theatre of Herodes Atticus (second century AD) is not open to the public, as it has been reconstructed and is used for modern performances. But looking at the massive exterior gives on and idea of how impressive it once was.

    The two-storied Stoa of Eumenes was once full of shops and stalls, and its size underlines what a very prosperous place ancient Athens must have been.

    Other excavated structures on the site include a bronze workshop and a sanctuary to the god Asklepios. There are piles of stones everywhere, some beautifully worked, and a small exhibition of memorial bases and sculptures at the entrance.

    In spring the site is lush and green, with wild flowers everywhere (and birds of prey screaming above). I really enjoyed exploring it, even though it was a chilly and damp day.

    Front-row seats Theatre of Herodes Atticus Sculptures.....and random dog
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    theatre of Dionysus

    by mindcrime Updated May 10, 2014

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    Walking into the south slope of Acropolis I saw the theatre of Dionisus, I have to admit that the first time I wasn’t impressed but when I walked up the southern slope of Acropolis I realized its size. It could seat about 17.000 people (do you realize it’s similar to Madison Square Garden in NY?!, lol). It was excavated in 1838 bringing it back to light.

    Peisistratus started to honor Dionysus during 6th century BC by building a small temple for him and a few years later people were gathering at the slope for music and theatrical festivities dedicated to Dionysus) and a century later a theatre was built although it took its final shape in early 4th century BC when the wooden constructions replaced by stone.

    It was here during the classic era when a big religious festival -Dionisia Festivals- took place in honor of god Dionisus (god of wine and patron of drama), with great theatrical plays (tragedies most of the time, the most famous tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Aristofanis, Euripides played here for the first time). The shape of the theatre used later in almost every ancient greek theatre. The theatre restored by the roman emperor Nero and as you can see it was this redesign that changed the circular orchestra (the place where the chorus danced and sang) into a semi-circular orchestra. The truth is that in our days we visit much more Herodes Atticus theatre (a few meters away) which is still in use!

    theatre of Dionisus theatre of Dionisus theatre of Dionisus
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    The First Theater in the World

    by hquittner Written Sep 15, 2011

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    At the southeast base of the Acropolis is the ancient first theater in the world dedicated to Dionysus. It was first built of wood in the 6C BC but was rebuilt in stone in the 4C BC to hold 17,000 attendees. It was further reconstructed in Roman times to be be used mainly for animal fights and aquatic performances. The first row of seats contained thrones.

    Theater of Dionysus
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    Visit the Temple of Athena Nike

    by hquittner Written Sep 9, 2011

    The Temple of Athena Nike is southeast of the Propylaea. It is a marble structure The present structure was erected in the 5C BC. with porticos on the north and south sides of the building. There are friezes high on the walls. On the south wall are scenes from the Persian war of that century.

    South View of Temple of Athena Nike Distant View  of Temple of Athena Nike
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    Enter the Acropoiis By the Propylaea

    by hquittner Written Sep 8, 2011

    Since 2010 the reconstruction of the Propylaea has been complete. It presents a monumental gateway with a central section that has six columns with Doric capitals. There are other large rooms on the east and west sides of the structures At the other far side one walks out onto the flat hilltop to approach the other two large buildings and immediately east is the small Temple of Athena Nike.

    The Propylaea (and the Temple of Athena Nike)
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    Walk Near the Parthenon

    by hquittner Updated Sep 8, 2011

    Even before 1982 when we first came up to the Parthenon, we were not allowed to climb onto the level of the interior, but we could walk along the base. Shortly later restoration work increased and now cranes may be seen in use. We are kept at a decent distance but we can still study the fragments of the frieze and statuary. The building remains a massive and impressive pile. In 1982 we could come up on the summit and watch the rising sun unimpeded (as we could at Stonehenge). Perhaps such things will occur again.

    Seen from the South
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    Dionysus Theater

    by JessieLang Updated May 27, 2011

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    There is a good view of the Dionysus Theater from the Acropolis, but you can also go see it close up. It had several types of seating. VIPs got the front seats, and the “throne” was for the high priest. The orchestra (stage area) is a partial circle, with a small circle in the center where the altar was. The third area was a building where the actors changed clothes.

    According to our guide, the original meaning of ‘tragedy’ was ‘men in goat skins singing songs!’ The earliest costumes were goat skins.

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    The Stoa of Eumenes

    by Pieter11 Updated Jul 19, 2009

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    At the southslope of the Acropolis, next to the Theatre of Dionysos, the Stoa of Eumenes is located. Well, the remainings of the Stoa. This long colonade, that is 160 metres long currently is all covered with grass and plants, but still you´ll have a good sight of the enormous sizes this building had.

    The Stoa of Eumenes was built in the first half of the 2nd century B.C. by the King of Pergamon, Eumenes II. It was used as some sort of lobby for the guests of the Theatre of Dionysos. Here they had a cool place before and after the plays.

    Later in the 2nd century B.C. the Stoa was lengthened towards the Theatre of Herodes Atticus.

    Me and the Stoa of Eumenes Stoa of Eumenes
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    Stoa of Eumenes

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jul 23, 2008

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    During the Byzantine period, the buildings on the southern slopes of the Acropolis were incorporated in the fortifications of the citadel, the Rizokastron. The defensive wall, coming from the Propylaia, took in the outer walls of the Odeion of Herodes Atticus, the arcades of the Stoa of Eumenes and the walls of the parodoi of the Theater of Dionysos.

    You may watch my high resolution photo of Acropolis on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 58' 16.30" N 23º 43' 37.54" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Stoa of Eumenes .

    Athens - Acropolis - Stoa of Eumenes
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    Theatre of Dionysus

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jul 23, 2008

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    The Theatre of Dionysus was a major open air theatre in ancient Greece, built at the foot of the Acropolis and forming part of the temenos of "Dionysus Eleuthereus". Dedicated to Dionysus, the god of plays and wine (among other things), the theatre could seat as many as 17,000 people, making it an ideal location for ancient Athens' biggest theatrical celebration, the Dionysia. It became the prototype for all theatres of ancient Greece.

    You may watch my high resolution photo of Acropolis on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 58' 16.32" N 23º 43' 38.14" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Theatre of Dionysus .

    You may watch my 6 min 35 sec VIDEO-clip Greece Athens Akropolis Slide-show with popular Greek music by Vangelis.

    Athens - Theatre of Dionysus
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    The south slope and Areopagus

    by Snipernurse Updated Jun 28, 2008

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    Areopagus was the hill that the Athenian council of nobles would meet to make all the big decisions. It was also the place where Paul made is famous 'sermon on an unknown God' (acts 17:22-34) Today you must climb a ladder up to the craggy slippery rock which leaves little to remind you of the importance of the sight. It does give the opportunity to see over the ancient agora, and for me, since I had spent time reading the sermon made by Paul, was of sentimental value.

    Areopagus
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    Theatre of Dionsyus

    by rcsparty Written Sep 8, 2006

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    The theatre is located at the base of the Akropolis. It is the theatre that has not been rebuilt like its neighbor. It was built in the 6th century BC and is thought to be the oldest theatre in Europe. It held about 17000 people and once housed plays by the famous Greek playwrites, Sophocles and Euripides, as well as being the birthplace of the Greek tragedies.

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    Access Acropolis via its Southern Slopes

    by Eugenetheduck Written Jul 19, 2006

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    From Akropolis metro most guide books say to access the Acropolis by walking to the western entrance. We instead bought our tickets (12 Euro - which you keep to access most archeological sites in Athens) at the Theatre of Dionysos and walked up via the Acropolis' southern slope.

    Theatre of Dionysos Theatre of Herodus Atticus Theatre of Herodus Atticus Theatre of Dionysos
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  • Acropolis - Herodeion as it used to be

    by janbeeu Updated Jul 18, 2005

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    The city of Athens’ cultural showcase is the two-phase Athens Hellenic Festival, held every summer since 1955 at the magnificent 2000 year old Herod Atticus Odeon.

    The ancient tiered theatre nestles at the foot of the Acropolis and during summer and autumn resounds each evening to the tune of symphony orchestras, classical drama and dance, and opera performances. The large and varied programme of international and Greek artists is available from the Athens Festival office on Stadiou Street or from the site of the Hellenic Festival

    The summer section of the festival runs from June to July with performances starting at 9pm, while the autumn section covers August and September, with shows starting at 8.30pm.

    the Herodeion as it used to be

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  • Acropolis - The Odeion of Herodes (Herodeion)

    by janbeeu Updated Jul 18, 2005

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    The gallery of Eumenus connected the Theatre of Dionysus with The Odeion of Herodes Attikus. It was the third odeion to be built in Athens 160-157 AD after the Odeion of Perikles and that of Agrippa. It was erected by Herodes in memory of his wife Regilla, who died in 160 AD.

    The Odeion of Herodes, also known as the Herodeion, is shaped as a semicircular theatre, with a radius of 38 metres and it can seat around 5.000 people. The facade, 28 metres high, was massive having a width of 2,40 metres. The wall of the scene was lavishly decorated with architectural marble elements. The public seats also were made of marble and the front of the three story stage was richly decorated with columns and niches. The roof must have been made of cedar wood.

    The Odeion was destroyed during the invasion of the Herulae who also destroyed most of the city's monuments in 267 AD.

    The Herodeion

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