Temple of Diona (pic 1)
Goddess Diona was the mother of Aphrodite and the temple of Diona was close to the sacred house. It was built at the end of the 4th century BC and the dimensions are 9,80m x 9,40m, almost the half size of temple of Zeus. The temple burned out by the Aetolians in 219BC and a new one was rebuilt not far but not at the same place with different shape 9,60m x 6,35m
Temple of Heracles (pic 2)
The temple of Heracles was built at the beginning of the 3rd century BC, at the easter edge of temple of Zeus and part if it is under the Christian basilica B. King Pyros asked for it because he wanted to connect his name with the legendary hero! Pyros’ wife Lanassa was the daughter of Agathocles that supposed to came from Hercules genus. The temple is the bigger after the temple of Zeus with dimensions of 16,50m x 9,50m and in Doric style. A lot of items were found inside the temple that reviled the worship of Hercules. Some of them are at the archeological museum of Ioannina.
Temple of Themis (pic 3)
The temple of Themis is located near by the sacred house and temple of Diona. Themis was the wife of Zeus, daughter of uranus and earth (wow! lol).Themis and Diona were important goddesses, the associates of Zeus! The temple is 10,30m x 6,25m. At the SW side of the temple there is a small building but the experts don’t know what it was yet.
Temple of Aphrodite (pic 4)
The temple of Aphrodite is close to the temple of Themis and probably was built at the end of 4th century BC. The size of the temple is small 8,50m x 4,70m
the theatre (pic 1)
The theatre is one of the biggest ancient greek theaters with a capacity of about 18.000 people! It was the the first thing the visitors saw and it’s the first thing you’ll see today also :) It was built on 3rd centuryBC when Pyros the king of Epirus build many temples and other buildings around. At the lower seat level the VIPs of the period were seating. The stage was a double decked building 31,20x9,10m and at the edge of the scene there were rooms for the actors.
After the rebuilding the wooden proscenium because stoned and some other rooms were added. The romans destroyed the theatre also at 1st centuryBC the romans (during August era) used the theatre as an arena. The front rows pulled out and a 3m wall was built so the wild animals couldn’t reach the spectators!
The acropolis (pic 2)
The top of the hill has a 750m long wall of 4th centuryBC. The wall used as a shelter in case of danger because there were people living outside of the wall. There were some cuboic towers along the wall close to the gates. The eastern gate of the wall is the one in better condition. At the Acropolis there are some foundations of buildings that haven’t explored yet and an underground tank that provided water to the inhabitants in case of need.
The stadium was next to theatre and was built after the first destruction of the oracle of Dodoni. Every Naia games were taking place here to honour Zeus. It’s one of the few ancient stadiums with stone seats. The stadium came in light after the first excavation in the area in 1875 but until today isn’t completely excavated.
The sacred house (pic 3)
This was the temple of Zeus, a small building but very important because the sacred Oak was inside it. It’s a building 20,80m x 19,20m and it was built at the beginning of 4th century BC. Before that Zeus supposed to lived in the roots of the sacred Oak and the priests –barefooted!- were trying to get in touch with mother earth! :) The first temple was even smaller 4m x 6,50m and enlarged later 3 times after many destructions of it. At the final phase it looked like an ancient greek house and that why Polyvios the historian of the 2nd century BC call it sacred house.
Bouleuterion (pic 4)
The members of the local parliament were gathered here. The building is big too, 43,60m x 32,35m and probably was build at the beginning of 3rd century BC
Prytaneion (pic 5)
This big building (31,45m x 32,35m) was built at the beginning of the 3rd century BC and the end of this century more rooms added at the north side.
There is a small tavern very close to the ancient site of Dodoni. It will be very useful for you even you’re not hungry because you can wash down the heat with a beer or just buy a bottle of water because under the sun it will be like hell for you. The view from the balcony is nice too overlooking the ancient site and the Tamaros mountain.
As an alternative you can go the village where there is also a hotel.
No, this isn’t a joke! I went to a concert in Dodoni too!! :) On August 16, 2008 the ancient site of Dodoni was opened because of the full moon! And Savina Giannatu, one of my favorite greek singers ever played there inside the ancient site at the wooden theatre. It was really beautiful and romantic listening to her was the full moon was over our heads….
Dodoni is easily accessible from Ioannina if you have a car but there is also a bus from Ioannina. For more info and timetable call at 2651027442.
If you are at Ioannina drive towards Athens and after 10km you will see the intersection of Egnantia highway. Turn right(there is a sign) and follow the tunnel of Dodoni (see pic). The road is well signed so after 10 minutes you’ll reach the ancient site.