Returning to the Source of Ancient Hellenic Theatre
Palea Epidaurus, which means ‘Old Epidaurus’ owes its name in part to the way it looks, to the point that it seems like time has not pass by in this area. In fact, tourists usually are amazed by the way this village matches the descriptions of the writings of Homer. During the ages Homer described, Epidaurus was mainly a religious centre characterised by the worship of Asklepios, the god of healing, son of Apollo. However, the religious inclination of the ancient inhabitants did not end in Asklepios cult. In fact, according to the monuments preserved in Palea Epidaurus, there were many other worshipped gods and goddesses, such as the mentioned Apollo, Hera, Artemis and Dimitra.
Palea Epidaurus was one of the main cities of Argolida and its prosperity goes back to antiquity. This was due to its strategic position, as it is placed among Corinth, Piraeus, Aegina, Trizina, Argos, and Nafplio. As it was also the most important Peloponnesian port of Peloponnese Gulf.
However, they also have many increasing duties related to the function and maintenance, as well as promotion of the sanctuaries of Asklepios and Apollo Maleatas. Nowadays, the ruins of all these places are still available for visiting.
In addition to these places, we also have to mention the ancient theatre, situated on the small valley where the temple of Asklepios lays. The theatre was built by
Polyklitus the Younger, an architect from Argos, who was also responsible for the construction and decoration of other important buildings in the same area like the mentioned temple of Asklepios and its gold and ivory statue as well as the stadium. However, the theatre plays the most significant role, especially if we take into account that it is so well preserved that it is still in use and its fine work in terms of construction and acoustics is still being taken advantage of.
On the west side of the peninsula, called the ‘island’ by the local people, there is another theatre, a smaller one, whose view extends towards the sea. Another difference from the big theatre is related to worshipping, as the former was dedicated to Asklepios and the latter is probably related to Dionysos, the god of wine. This was in part deduced by the fact that the uncovered seats during the excavations revealed inscriptions from important persons, such as officers and notables, that make reference to the dedication of this place to this god.
The archaeological site of Mycenae is a legendary place, mentioned by the epic poet Homer and the geographer Pausanias as the seat of King Agamemnon, who led the Greeks in the Trojan War.
However, before 1870, when the remains of this civilization were discovered, many experts did not think it really existed. Though, the texts of Homer were so exact, that they allowed an amateur archaeologist by the name of Heinrich Schliemann find this city by following the references made in the Iliad. After that, Schliemann was known as the ‘father of Mycenaean Archaeology’.
The civilization of Mycenae dates from 1600 BC to 1100 BC approximately, reaching its peak between 1400 BC and 1200 BC. History testifies the Mycenaeans as being successful warriors and having a social scale and archaeology provides interesting details about this ancient civilization.
In fact, there were also other tombs with the bodies of Mycenaean chieftains, from which five were buried with gold face masks. These tombs were found following the indications about their location in the writings of Pausanias. Other important architectural findings uncovered in Mycenae Archaeological site are the Lions Gate, a solid gate of stone with two lions carved above the lintel of the main entrance of the city, as well as the Cyclopean walls themselves, made of impressively thick and massive masonry. A self-supporting domed tomb, known as the Treasury of Atreus, has also been found in the closeby Panagista hill, in a walking distance from the ancient site of Mycenae. These findings illustrate the glory of this past civilization, and provoked a great excitement when they were uncovered. In our days, visitors can go and explore around the whole place, using its appointed paths. In addition, the views from this site are also greatly reputed, as it is surrounded by steep cliffs, mountains, the sea, and a countryside plenty of olive and orange groves.
UNESCO has declared the Mycenae archaeological site as part of the World Heritage, on December 2nd of 1999.
The town of Nafplio Greece is one of the most popular and tourist destinations in the Peloponnese. Nafplio was the first capital of the Greek State in the early 1830s. The Old Town is lovely, with old mansions and paved paths. The whole town gives a Noeclassical vibe that attracts all visitors. Many historical sites can be visited in the area, while the beach is also close by.
Nafplio is a captivating Greek town on the Peloponnesian coast. The town dates back to antiquity and this is why this historic town is thronged with tourists, who come here to catch a glimpse of the age-old relics that are testaments to its rich cultural past.
The town itself is like a museum preserving the timeless minarets dating back to the Neolithic period. The cobbled, meandering lanes that crisscross this quaint town also leads tourists to small cafes, inns and taverns offering mouthwatering local cuisines. The city is a major tourist attraction and hence tourism infrastructure is well organized. Moreover, several museums in the town display the artifacts used by the people who inhabited this area from the Neolithic period. The town is not only known to the world because of its significance as center of a grandiose civilization, but also because of its panoramic delights of the picturesque coasts and the stunning beaches. The city is surrounded by small pristine villages, archeological sites and imposing fortresses dating back to the Byzantine Era. Elements of Venetian, Neo-Classical and Islamic architecture can be found in the churches, mosques, museums and buildings located in the area of the Old town. The Venetian architecture is also visible in the two famous fortresses of Nafplio, Palamidi and Bourtzi.
This theater is one of only two surviving theater structures (with Thorikos) that can be dated earlier than the mid-fourth century B.C. and that would have had wooden skene. The wooden skene, known mainly through vase paintings, have left no physical traces beyond some stone sockets into which wooden posts or beams were inserted.
The Saronic islands are situated at a close distance from Epidaurus. This group of Greek Islands is composed of Angistri, Aegina, Methana, Poros, Salamina, Spetses and Hydra and they have a lot to offer to the visitors: natural beauty, clean sandy beaches and even small deserted islets to explore