The Theater of Herodes Atticus is a great stone structure that was built on the south side of the Acropolis. Herodes Atticus built the theatre in 161 AD in memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla. It was designed as an amphitheater with steep sides. The front wall of the theater was built to about three stories high and it had a wooden roof. The theater was capable of seating 5,000 people and was used for music concerts.
The audience seating and the stage were restored using pentelic marble in the 1950’s. Since that time, the theater has been used as one of the main venues for of the Athens Festival (Athens and Epidaurus). The festival runs from June through September each year. The Miss Universe 1973 pageant was held there and Yanni, Maria Callas, The Bolshoi Ballet and many other artists have have been hosted there.
We walked down from the Acropolis and made our way to the theater. Since I didn’t have a guide book with me, I wasn’t sure which theater this was. I wanted to go inside, but I found out later that the theater is used for performances and isn’t open to the public. Looking through the gates and arches, it was clear that a lot of restoration work had been done. My pictures from up on the Acropolis showed new marble all throughout the theater.
We got some really nice pictures and video. The theater looks amazing from the large marble-covered plaza in front. It is easy to imagine what it would have been like to stand outside the theater, waiting to go in and view a performance in the 2nd century AD. Not so different from our theaters today.
What were the WOW moments you experienced?
We were thrilled with the marble plaza area in front of the theater. A light rain was falling and the marble blocks were slippery. The place was well laid out and we enjoyed seeing the theater and watching all the people moving up and down the paths to the Acropolis.
Greece, Athens, The Theater of Herodes Atticus