The theatre of Epidaurus represents the finest and best-preserved example of a classical Greek theatre. Even by today's standards, this monument stands out as a unique artistic achievement through its admirable integration into the landscape and above all the perfection of its proportions and incomparable acoustics. It was built in 330-20 BC and enlarged in the mid-2nd century AD. The overall 55 rows of seats rest on a natural slope and face the stage area set against a backdrop of lush landscape. The theatre is marvelled for its exceptional acoustics. Any sound on the open-air stage, whether a stentorian voice or a whisper, a deep breath or the sound of a match struck is perfectly audible to all spectators, even in the topmost row of seats, that is, nearly 60 m away. The answer to what makes the sound transmit so well comes from recent scientific studies: The arrangement of the stepped seating rows acts as an acoustic filter that deadens low-frequency background sounds, such as the murmurs of the audience, while amplifying the high-frequency sounds from the stage. Once again in use today, the ancient monument floods with theatre devotees during the annual summer Festival of Epidaurus. To avoid the sold-out disappointment, book early!
Asklepieion of Epidaurus
UNESCO World Heritage List
Festival of Epidaurus
Why the Greeks could hear plays from the back row. Archaeo-Acoustics: Epidaurus