In a canyon, in 340 BC, an Argos architect Polykleitos the Younger, built, according to Pausanias, the theatre of Epidaurus. Among all the ancient theatres, Epidaurus theatre is the most beautiful and best preserved. Destined for the fun of the patients of Asklipieio, it had a capacity of 13,000 spectators. It was divided into two parts: A 21-rows of seats part, aimed for the citizens and a 34-rows of seats part aimed for the priests and rulers. The superb acoustics as well as the very well preserved construction, contributed to the creation of Epidaurus Festival S.A., an institution that contributed to the cultural revival of the theatre. Great actors have acted at such as Alexis Minotis, Thanos Kotsopoulos, Anna Synodinou, Thanasis Vengos and the famous Greek soprano Maria Kallas.
Excavations and buildings
The excavations at Epidaurus were executed by P. Kavadias and lasted from 1881 until his death. The excavations were undertaken by the Archaeological Society. Important role in the course of the excavations was the selfless offer of the residents of Lygourio, who, apart from their help, offered their land located near the archaeological site. The first area that the visitor faces upon reaching the archaeological site is the entrance. The entrance, which construction dates back to the Mycenaean times, consisted of two galleries with 6 columns each, built in Ionian and Corinthian type. The second building is the temple of Asclepius, which construction lasted for 5 years. It was a Doric temple where Asclepius statue was hosted. The statue was made by Thrasymedes from Paros Island. Behind the temple there was the dome, which was the most famous building of the sanctuary. Other buildings were the house of priests, the temples to Artemis, the temple of Apollo and finally the theatre.