he Odeon of Herodes Atticus, dominates the south slope of the Acropolis hill. The Odeon was built in 161 BC by the eminent Athenian orator and philosopher Herodes Atticus, in memory of his wife Rigilli.
The Odeon was built in the shape of a theater because it was used for theatrical, as well as musical, presentations.
|The "Herodeon" as it is called today, has a circular orchestra and a forestage which is 35.40 m. long, 1.10 m. high and 6 m. deep. There are recesses in the stage wall where there were statues. The orchestra is laid with polychrome tiles. The Herodeon holds 5,000 spectators. Above the cornice there was a stoa, the theater's present foyer.|
|he Herodeon was roofed with a luxurious cedar. It must have been one of the most brilliant structures of the period of Pausanias. It stayed in use until perhaps the invasion of the Heruli (267 B.C.). The Herodeon experienced many vicissitudes and disasters. In the end it burned down as it can be seen from the burned pieces of wood and the nails that were found during excavations in the last century.|
Today Herodeon hosts many cultural events with international appeal. During the summer it is used for concerts in the context of the Athens Festival. Superb presentations of ancient and modern drama are also staged in the Herodeon. A brilliant adornment for Athens, it also constitutes an important award for the artist who presents his work there. Every year it is inundated with spectators and most of its events are considered cultural landmarks.
eneath the Acropolis, at the side of Dionysious the Areopagite Street, is the temple of Dionysos Eleftherios and next to it the Theater of Dionysos.
The Temple of Dionysos was built in the 5th century BC. Its rectangular foundation still survives and on it, was placed the gold and ivory statue of the god, a work by Alkamenis, a student of Pheidias. It was found within a shrine enclosed by a parabolas.
|Near this larger temple are the remains of the foundations of the oldest temple, which must have been double- column, that is, enclosed between two doorposts. In the 4th century BC a Doric stoa was built to the north of the shrine, against the back of which the structure of the theater stage rested.|
|he Theater of Dionysos comes after the temple; its orchestra forms a perfect circle. This orchestra is of particular significance for the history of civilization. It was the main orchestra of Athens, the cradle of the dramatic art of both the ancient and the more recent world. Here the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, as well as the comedies of Aristophanes and Menandros, were presented for the first time. |
|The Theater of Dionysos took on its definitive form at the end of the 4th century BC when it was renovated by Lykourgos an art lover, orator and archon of Athens. To the north of the theater, near the wall of the Sacred Rock, are the remains of the chronic monument to Thrasyllos, who was the "benefactor" of the Dionysian performances. Later, after the victory of his son Thrasyklis in 297 BC, the monument was modified. Today, in the cavity that is formed in the rock there is a chapel to the Panayia Spiliotissa (Virgin Mary of the Cave). |
o the west of the Theater of Dionysos extend the ruins of the Asclepeion, a sanctuary devoted to the healing god Asclepeios and built around a sacred spring. Nearer to the road are the foundations of the Roman Stoa of Eumenes, a colonnade of stalls that stretched to the Herodeon. To the east of the Theater of Dionysos lies the famous Pericle's Odeon built in 447 BC which was used for musical competitions.
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Photos and informations taken from "Athens - Attica"
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