Epidaurus ancient site, Sanctuary of Asklepios

At this article you will find all you need to know about Epidaurus, the ancient theatre and the museum.

Ancient Epidaurus Theatre

Find all you need to know about the Archeological site of Epidaurus and the Ancient Epidaurus theatre.

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Epidaurus Archeological Site Opening Hours and Ticket Prices

Find below the opening hours of the Ancient Epidaurus theatre and Archeological site

Find below the ticket prices for the Ancient Epidaurus theatre and Archeological site

epidaurus, ancient theatre


Epidaurus was a small city of ancient Greece, aprox 27km East from Nafplio. Now two modern towns bear the name Epidauros, Palaia Epidauros and Nea Epidauros.

In the ancient Greece Epidaurus was a massive healing center for all the ill people. The healing had procedures in order for the people to reach a calm mentally state after daily activities around Epidaurus with the Theater and the Stadium and in the night would “meet the god” who would advise them on the treatment that they had to do in order to regain their health.

Epidaurus, with its supporting territory, formed the small territory called Epidauria. It is said that Epidauria was found or named by the Argolid Epidaurus and to be the birthplace of Apollo’s son Asclepius the healer. Epidaurus was known for its theater, that is used even today for live performances, and for its sanctuary situated about 5 miles – 8 km from the town. The cult of Asclepius at Epidaurus is attested in the 6th century BC, when the older hill-top sanctuary of Apollo Meleatas was no longer spacious enough.

Asclepius was the most important healer god of antiquity. The asclepeion at Epidaurus was the most celebrated healing center of the Classical world. It was the place where ill people went with the hope of being cured. There was a guest house with 160 guestrooms, where ill people would spend their night in the enkoimeteria, and in the night the god would advise them what they had to do to regain their health.

The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus

The ancient theatre of Epidaurus was designed by Polykleitos the Younger in the 4th century BC. The original theatre had 55 rows. It was originally 34 rows and then it was extended by another 21 rows in the Roman times. It seats up to 14,000 people. The theatre is very well-known for its exceptional acoustics, which permit almost perfect intelligibility of unamplified spokes words from the skene of all the spectators, regardless of their seating.

The Ancient Stadium of Epidaurus

The Ancient Stadium of Epidaurus is 180m long and is the classic example of stadium that the ancient Greeks were using for the athletic festivals used to take place to honor the gods. The Stadium of Epidaurus was constructed in the 5th century BC to host the athletic games that were taken place every four years to honor Asklepius. In the beginning there were not seats for spectaculars but in the late 4th century the seats that you see today were constructed from limestone.

The Sanctuary of Apollo Meleatas

The sanctuary of Apollo Meleatas is located on a low hill on Mount Kynorton east of canctuary of Asklepios. At the beginning of the Late Bronze Age, an open-air altar was used where animals were sacrificed and votives deposited in the ash. Dedications include votive bronze double axes, bronze swords, and clay animal figurines. There is evidence for cult activity in the Geometric period.
Most of the structures on the site belong to the 4th century BC or to the 2nd century AD, when there was a major building campaign paid for Sextus lulius Major Antoninus Pythodorus, and aristocrat from Nysa, Anatolia and a Roman senator.

The Sanctuary of Asklepios, Epidaurus

Asklepios was the protector of human health and personal happiness. It is said that more than 200 healing centers worked under Asklepios’ authorization throught the Easter Mediterranean area. Asklepios, who was the son of Apollo and Koronis, was established in the 6th century BC.

The two sanctuaries, one dedicated to Apollo Meleatas and the other one to Askepios, were subsequently known under the common name of Sanctuary of Apollo Meleatas and ASklepios.

Temple of Artemis

Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and was worshipped in the Asklepion of Epidaurus.

The Temple of Artemis is in the central area of the Sancuary of Asklepios. The temple was constructed of poros stone and limestone. On the outside was a Doric entablacture. The roof tiles , the simas and the acroteria were of Pentelic marble. There were also waterspouts in the form of a dog’s head, because the hound was Artemis’ sacred animal-companion.

The Sunken City of Epidaurus

The Sunken city of Epidaurus or the “Atlantis of Epidaurus” is located at the Kalymnios beach at the Palaia Epidauros. It is almost two meters under the water. Find the location HERE.

The Archeological Museum of Epidaurus

In the museum you will find numerus reconstructions of temples and architectural components mainly form the Asplepion. A reconstruction of part of entablature and Doric columns dated 380-375 BC, and reconstruction parts of the entablature of the Temple of Artemis 370-310 BC.

The museum has a substantial collection of inscriptions and Greek and Roman sculptures. The main collection of inscriptions has been housed in the special hall to the northeast of the main building since 1958 as has a storeroom for the sculptures, a pottery room and a restoration workshop. The museum has a plaster cast statue of Asklepios with a sacred snake curling up on his stick. Also is a marble headless statue, believed to be of the health goddess Hygeia, dated to the Hellenistic period and a statuette of a child.

Most of the structures on the site belong to the 4th century BC or to the 2nd century AD, when there was a major building campaign paid for Sextus lulius Major Antoninus Pythodorus, and aristocrat from Nysa, Anatolia and a Roman senator.

Ancient Epidaurus Little Theatre

The Little Theatre of Epidaurus is located next to the port of the Old Epidaurus. The construction of this theatre started in the 4th century BC. It was constructed to host aprox 2000 guests, it had 9 tiers and 18 rows.

The Little Theatre was recently discovered in the early 1970’s. It was dedicated to god Dionissos. It is said that it was in function for seven centuries. Today it can host aprox 800 spectators.

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