Athens Sights

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Theater of Dionysus Review

It was on this spot in the 6th century BC that the Dionyssia festivals took place; a century later, dramas such as Sophocles's Oedipus Rex and Euripides's Medea were performed for the entire population of the city. Visible are foundations of a stage dating from about 330 BC, when it was built for 15,000 spectators as well as the assemblies formerly held on Pnyx. In the middle of the orchestra stood the altar to Dionysus. Most of the upper rows of seats have been destroyed, but the lower levels, with labeled chairs for priests and dignitaries, remain. The fantastic throne in the center was reserved for the priest of Dionysus: regal lions' paws adorn it, and the back is carved with reliefs of satyrs and griffins. On the hillside above the theater stand two columns, vestiges of the little temple erected in the 4th century BC by Thrasyllus the Choragus (the ancient counterpart of a modern impresario).

    Contact Information

  • Address: Dionyssiou Areopagitou across from Mitsaion street, Acropolis, Athens, 11742 | Map It
  • Phone: 210/322–4625
  • Cost: €2; €12 joint ticket under the Unification of Archaeological Sites
  • Hours: May–Oct., daily 8–7 (last entry 6:30); Nov.–Apr., daily 8:30–3
  • Subway: Acropolis
  • Location: The Acropolis and Environs
Updated: 08-22-2011

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