This theatre was built in AD 161 by the Romans and is still used today for concerts and events. It is on the southern slope of the Acropolis. The building itself is not open except for the events, but the slopes above offer great views into the Odeon.
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.
The Odeion of Herodes Atticus was built between 161-74 AD and is in use today and still seats 5,000. It is in Roman style with 32 rows of seats. It had a cedar roof and there is a three story back wall. Each summer it has performance ranging from serious to popular evening concerts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 propsperous 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 sculpture at the entrtance.
In spring the site is lush ad green, with wild flowers everywhere (and a bird of prey screaming above). I really enjoyed exploring it, even though it was a chilly and damp day.
When I saw the theatre of Dionisus for 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 18.000 people (like Madison Square Garden in New York, lol).
Anyway, here, a big religious festival, the Dionisia took place in honor of god Dionisus, with great theatrical plays (tragedies most of the time, the most famous tragedies 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 see it was this redesign that changed the circular orchestra (the place where the chorus danced and sang) into a semi-circular orchestra.
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 .
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.
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.
On the south slope of the Acropolis is an ancient Greek amphitheater, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus built in AD161. It is now the venue for concerts, ballets and the Festival of Athens with a seating capacity of 5000. Luciano Pavarotti gave his last concert in this theater.
Located south of the Acropolis odeon of Herudes Atticus is a open air stone theatre that hosts musical and theatrical events built in 161 by Herudes Atticus
a unique roman theatre with 80m diameter and 5000 seats capicity