Grand Theatre, Ephesus
At an estimated 44,000 seating capacity, it is believed to be the largest outdoor theater in the ancient world.
It was first constructed during the Hellenistic period, although the present structure dates from the 1-2nd centuries AD. The Theatre has three cavea, each 22 rows, to which access was obtained via flights of steps between the cavea.
The scene is 18 m. in height and the inner facade was ornamented with reliefs, columns, blind niches, windows and decorated with statues on three levels.
You can watch my 2 min 35 sec Video clip Ephesus Part IV with Mozart – Andante from Piano Concerto No.2 in F Major “Elvira Madigan”.
This would have to be my most impressive place in Ephesus, the sheer size of the place makes your jaw drop to the ground. I beleive sting, and Elton John love this place too because they have performed concerts from this theatre. Now fully restored it has a seating capacity of 24,000 people. Work on this historic landmark began in the 3rd century B.C.
Here are some of the dimentions of the great theatre
The great theatre is 145 meters wide and the auditorium (Kevea) is 30 meters high. The three story stage (proskenium) is 18 meters high, it has 65 seating rows and 2 passage ways seperated into three. The entrance and exits was attained through the tunnel like monumentle entrances on the sides which were called (vomitorium)
The grand theatre at Ephesus is the most prominent and impressive sight. It was built in the slopes of Mt Pion. It was originally constructed during Hellenistic period under the reign of Lysimachus in the 3rd century BC. It was he who relocated Ephesus to its present site.
During her history it was improved, enlarged and refined by the Roman emperors by the name of Claudius, Augustus, Nero and Trajan. The Emperor and rich Roman spectators gather at the theatre to listened musical concert, to be entertained by artist performing theatrical play, to see gladiators fighting to the death and animal fights. It was also used for political and religious gatherings.
St Paul the early Christian preached and sermon to the large audience at this theatre. He was preaching and condemning paganism
From bird’s eye view the theatre has semi circle shape. It has sitting sections for the spectators, the centre stage and section for the orchestra and actors. It can accommodate 17,000 to 25,000 excited spectators.
To improve the acoustics bronze and clay sounding vessels were placed around the auditorium. Even today the acoustic is still great and modern performances are still being held here. Artist like Elton John, Jose Carreras, Sting have actually performed in this theatre. I am not quite sure if today performances will damage the fragile theatre.
Go to the top of the theatre and you would be able to see bird’s eye view of ancient city of Ephesus.
Here is another amazing fact about the grand theatre, they actually had a primative form of loud speakers in those days, yes its true. They were made of bronze and ceramics and located in various places in the theatre which made the acoustics of the theatre near perfect
The Great theater can accommodate an audience of 44,000 (others say 25,000 but I have not checked myself). It is thought to be the largest theater of the Roman world.
It was built using the slope of Mount Panyir. It was first built in the Vth BC during the Hellenistic Period but underwent main alterations in the following centuries, especially under Emperor Claudius, in 31-32 AD. Its diameter is154 m and the highest row is 38 m high.
In the modern time, it is used for concerts and other shows.
The Theatre has three cavea, each 22 rows, to which access was obtained via flights of steps between the cavea. The skene is 18 m. in height and the inner fa?ade was ornamented with reliefs, columns, blind niches, windows and decorated with statues on three levels.
This is the Amphitheatre of Ephesus. It's still in working condition, able to hold up to 25,000 people. Supposedly this is the amphitheater where the Apostle Paul was to have a showdown with the silversmith who made Diana idols, but was imprisoned at the top of a hill instead. The prison can be see nearby.
The ampitheatre has three cavea, each 22 rows, to which access was obtained via flights of steps between the cavea. The skene is 18m. in height and the inner facade was ornamented with reliefs, columns, blind niches, windows and decorated with statues on three levels. The semicircular orchestra, surrounded by a channel, fronted a second skene supported on columns, 2.7m in height, which was approached by flights of steps. This section of the skene was used during the Roman period.
make sure, you will not miss the big amphitheater, where now big concerts are given again by popstars of today on several occasions every year
This pic was taken from the stage, and may see the dimensions of this huge theatre, beeing able to seat some thousands of people.
Sorry for the bad quality of the photo - it is a scanning of my Super-8-film, that is actually a slide with a size of just 4mmx8mm
Make sure that you go here and have a look. Just go and sit in the steep Stand, and imagine what it would have been like amongst 24,999 other people! Imagine what it would have been like to walk out into the arena, wow!
It was designed for Theatrical presentations and later, when some alterations were done, probably by the Romans, Gladiatoral contests were held here. It was built in the Hellenistic period, in the 3rd Century BC. Its a magnificent structure!!
Many concerts are held every summer in the Ephesus Amphiteheater within the framework of international festivals and organizations of various sorts. Do not miss the concerts where you will enjoy the antique city`s fascinating atmosphere...
the concerts that have been held up to now:
Jose Carreras, Sting, Elthon John, Jehtro Tull, Jan Garbarek etc...
Ephesus has one of the largest and best-preserved ampitheaters of any Greek or Roman ruin in Turkey. In its day, the theater held over 20,000 people. It is built into the side of a hill, and most of its seating still remains. The stage section is partially preserved as well.
The theater is open to tourists, and you can expore it for as long as you want. After a hot day of walking, it was nice to actually have a place to sit down!
This theatre, which had a seating capacity of 25,000 was first constructed during the Hellenistic period, although the present structure dates from the 1-2nd centuries AD. The Roman Theatre was begun during the reign of Claudius (34-41 A.D.), and it took 60 years to build. The second and third storeys of the skene (25x40 m) were constructed during the reigns of the emperors Nero (54-68 A.D.) and Septimus Severus ( 193-211 AD.). Only parts of the skene now date from the Hellenistic period. The Theatre has three cavea, each 22 rows, to which access was obtained via flights of steps between the cavea. The skene is 18 m. in height and the inner façade was ornamented with reliefs, columns, blind niches, windows and decorated with statues on three levels. The semicircular orchestra, surrounded by a channel, fronted a second skene supported on columns, 2.70 metres in height, which was approached by flights of steps. This section of the skene was used during the Roman period.
Great is an understatement! This massive 25,000 capacity theatre dominates your eyes after entering through the northern entrance and is one Ephesus' most famous sights. It's located on the slope of Panayir Hill and used to overlook the harbour via Harbour Street. It was first constructed in the Hellenistic Period, in the third century BC during the reign of Lysimachos, one of the generals of Alexander the Great, but, then during the Roman Period, was enlarged and formed its current structure that is seen today.
It is the largest in Anatolia and has sixty six rows of seats, divided by two diazoma (walkway between seats) into three horizontal sections making three sections of seats. In the lower section, marble pieces, used for restoration, and the Emperor's Box were found. The seats with backs, made of marble, were reserved for important people. The audience entered from the upper cavea.
The stage building was three-storied and 18 meters high. The facade facing the audience was ornamented with reliefs, columns with niches, windows and statues. There are five doors opening to the orchestra area, the middle one of which is wider than the rest. This enhanced the appearance of the stage, giving it a bigger, monumental look.
The theatre was used not only for concerts and plays, but also for religious, political and philosophical discussions and for gladiator and animal fights.
The larger theatre of Ephesus was built to hold almost 24.000 spectators. It is been set against the slopes of Mount Panayir during the reign of Emperor Lysimachos. Many alterations have been made to the theatre over the years and it is still in use today for performances.