Saturday, July 20, 2013

Medea at Epidaurus

Twenty five-hundred years ago, theatre was born in Greece
Between 600 and 200 BC, the ancient Greeks created 
a theatre culture whose structure has lasted two thousand 
years and produced civilization.

Athens - Epidaurus Festival is an annual arts festival that 
takes place in Athens and Epidaurus, from May to October.

The ancient theatre of Epidaurus is located in an extended 
archaeological site surrounded by lush greenery, 
cypresses, pine and olive trees.
Greek theatres could only be built on hills 
that were correctly shaped.

This year the festival was opened with Medea by Euripides, 
the tragedy of love turning into a terrible and savage hatred.

Greeks and tourists filled the theatre which is able to seat 
around 15.000 spectators to watch the drama of Medea.

The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus is a superb example of classical theatre
and regarded as the best preserved ancient theatre in Greece in terms 
of its perfect acoustics and architectural symmetry. 

It was built in the late 4th century BC. by the architect Polykleitos 
on the side of a mountain and overlooking the sanctuary of Asklepius
 a celebrated healing center of the classical world which was used 
as a therapeutic and religious, as Asklepius was the God of healing.

Due to its incomparable acoustics the actors can be 
perfectly heard by all spectators, as you can even hear
 the sound of a pin dropping!

Medea (431 BC) addresses the eternal struggle between 
Man and Woman as well as the clash between two cultures. 
A complex, alluring creature, the princess from Colchis, 
a foreigner in Corinth, experiences the ultimate betrayal 
at Jason’s hands. Medea the witch, vows to take her revenge 
and comes up with the most inhuman punishment of all;
murdering her two children by Jason.

The play was staged exclusively with male cast in all the roles
(and in the Chorus) wearing masks. 
The protagonist in the role of Medea, was G.Kimoulis.

“Medea is a play which breaks conventional logic, even the same 
conventional passion. And the most paradox: although 
the heroine has committed the most heinous crime, the infanticide, 
she is not punished at the end of the play. 
The Euripidean conception is moving elsewhere. 
Beyond morality” said the director Spyros Evangelatos.

Each summer, we visit the theatre at least once or twice  
and have seen  unforgetable plays and 
great actors, Greek and foreigner as well.
 Helen Mirren  performed Phedra on 2009.

If you ever come near Athens in summer, don’t miss the chance 
to visit the theatre of Epidaurus and its performances. 
Even if the play isn’t so  known, it will be a unique experience, 
I can assure you! It’s a sacred place which emanates 
the magic of ancient times.

The surroundings

There will be another last post before my summer break...

So sweet and touching comments for the "little ballerina"!
Thank you!!!

I hope you enjoy lazy summer days and 
get enough energy to welcome the fall.



  1. Epidaurus is such a wonderful place! We visited there on an early morning and nearly had the place to ourselves - I can feel the excitement of the performance in your photos, oh how I wish we were there to visit during the Festival. Have a great weekend! xo Jackie

  2. Like Jackie and Joel we have visited Epidaurus and had it to ourselves, we were taken there by some Greek colleagues of my husbands. Lovely to see the site as it should be - full of people waiting expectantly for the performance to begin. Lovely photos and interesting background to both Epidaurus and Medea.

  3. All I can say is WOW....this looks amazing! One day I hope to visit. xo

  4. Oh, I would love to visit there. Before I had my children I was an English teacher and would teach Antigone every year. I always did a study of Greek theatre itself with the students before we read the play, so they would understand the physical setting as well as the way the chorus worked in the play. I loved teaching this stuff. I haven't ever seen it in person but I studied it in college and loved to read about it and look at photos. Thank you for sharing your visit, this was fascinating to me!

  5. Hello Olympia,

    what a wonderful place. It´s very impressive and immemorial.
    Fantastic pictures.
    Thank you for this kind of visit.

    Have a wonderful sunny weekend

    Your Bluemchenmama

  6. Dearest Olympia,
    This is so incredible and what a rich history of Greece. My favorite subject in High School; loved to learn all about Greece. And here we are in direct contact with several Greek cyber-friends!

  7. Sin duda un espléndido lugar para visitar. Happy weekend!!! :D

  8. Your pictures are amazing! I haven't been to Epidaurus and looking at your pictures made me want to go there as soon as possible!
    Happy weekend :)

  9. Such a great place. It would be nice to sit there among the audience. I haven't been to any theater for several years..I can't even think about fall and winter.. :O( Happy weekend, Olympia!

  10. It is a place of great history, culture and beauty. I love the stone stairs under the pines and the beautiful hills in the distance. It must have been a wonderful experience. I can imagine being there through your beautiful photos. Hugs, xoxo

  11. What a great place,wonderful history and culture..thanks for sharing!
    Have a nice weekend

  12. Wat prachtig Olympia!
    De rijke historie van Griekenland en dat je dan getuige mag zijn van zo'n prachtige theaterplaats.
    In de bijbel staat dat Paulus de menigte ook toesprak vanuit zo'n theaterplaats. Daar heb je ons iets van laten zien.

    Lieve groet,

  13. It is a great theater, wonderful and
    sit there a warm summer evening and
    listen to Medea

  14. It`s amazing to think of how many people must have sat in this place, over so many years, and enjoyed a performance.

  15. Paul arrived at Corinth on A.D.50 or 51 so much later.He adressed to the Corinthians from the bema or speaker's platform stood in the center of the ancient agora (5th and 6th century B.C.)
    Yes, I'll post one day photos of this important and wonderful archeological site.

  16. That looks an amazing place and it must be such an experience to watch a performance here.
    Sarah x

  17. I´m so happy that you show me this...lovely pictures!


  18. Full of history!! Amazing place....
    Thank you for your explain and photos!♥

    Many hugs, Marikki

  19. I would love to go here. I am sure the sound was amazing.simply stunning venue

  20. Dear Olympia,
    this really sounds like a great experience! If I once come to Greece I will remember your festival-hint!
    Oh, and it's nice to hear that you want to come to Austria in August.
    Unfortunately, I cann't tell you much about Salzburg, since I live near Vienna and was only once in the city of Salzburg (years ago) - but if you have a question, I'll at least TRY to help you: o ))
    Warm hugs from Austria,

  21. What an impressive place to have a festival! I wouldn't have mind sitting there with you as well. The theatre adds to the atmosphere.

    Happy week Olympia!

    Madelief x

  22. Hi Olympia,

    Epidaurus is a magical place, unlike any other in Greece, or the world, for me! I majored in Drama (and English Literature) and my passion for the former is still very much alive and eats away at me, even today. I miss the art of acting and directing, as well as observing, as a member of the audience. Your photos are incredible and are a great representation of the spirit of Epidaurus, hypnotizing, historical and for me, always emotional. Thanks for sharing your eventful day to the theatre.


  23. What an exciting place! Your pictures are wonderful. I would have loved to see Helen Mirren perform there!

  24. I will definitely visit this theatre if we come to Greece. I learned so much from your blogpost about the history of Greek theatre and Medea. Your photos are excellent. What a beautiful part of the world!

  25. Now you can visit my blog, at the same address as before,
    I have mooved to And your post is so exciting, because
    I love Greece, the colours, the smells and the light!

  26. With Safari of Apple it's still impossible to open" Tinsrose". With Google Chrome and Internet Explorer neither! It's signalized like dangerous. Is it possible?
    However, I thank you Unn for your kind words and visit, I'll try to keep in touch with you! Let me know what it happens really.

  27. Ολυμπία μου , υπέροχη ανάρτηση και πραγματικά μαγευτικός χώρος !Έχω επισκεφτεί το θέατρο , παράσταση δεν αξιώθηκα να δω αλλά μου έμεινε αξέχαστη η στιγμή που ατένιζα από ψηλά την άδεια σκηνή και την ησυχία που επικρατούσε !Καλή σου μέρα !

  28. Olympia, it must be amazing to witness a play in that ancient place, you are so lucky to have it nearby. I love the simple costumes the actors wore. The scenery is just spectacular, and I can imagine it just heightens the emotions.
    I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Many thanks for your kind comments. With love, Linda x

  29. What a stunning theatre.....the atmosphere must be magical! I shall definitely make a note for if I am ever in Athens in the future.

    Have a lovely weekend!


  30. What a fantastic place, such history.

  31. Although I went to Epidaure when I lived in Greece, I didn't see a performance; I learned a lot from this beautiful post, thank you !x


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