There are a few theaters nowadays that everyone has heard of, but what about the theaters of yesterday, and all the glory they once carried on their stages? The following list includes ten of the best-preserved and significant ancient theater that are still opened to the public eye.
The ancient theater of Delphi is built on a hill so that the viewers could see the entire Delphi sanctuary. It could seat up to 5000 people and despite the restorations done in the recent years, it is still in poor condition.
This is probably the most known and well-preserved ancient theater in the world. The Theater of Epidaurus has been both a religious and a political center of Epidaurus and after the restorations made in the 20th century has become the best example of ancient Greek theaters.
The Theater of Dionysus is believed to be the most ancient theater. It is thought to have been built by the descendants of the tyrant Peisistratos but its architectural evolution is still a mystery. Nowadays, an effort is currently done to restore the theater with fragments of stone found on site.
On the east coast of Sicily, there was a Greek colony, Taormina, in which the Greeks built a theater with a view towards all great places in its vicinity, such as Mount Etna, The Bay of Naxos, Castelmola and the Mediterranean. In the present days, the theater is the seat of Taormina Arte, the International Film, Theater, and Dance Festival.
The theater is the most significant building in Merida. It is the best example of classic Roman theater design. More importantly, due to the last restoration, in the 1970’s, it still serves as a place of performance.
The Odeon of Herodes Atticusis a memorial theater built in 161 A.D by Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife Rigillia who have died at a very young age. At first, the theater wore her name but then Atticus selfishly changed it.
The ancient city of Bosra is located south of Damasc. This city was conquered by romans in A.D.106 and was made capital. Soon after, they built the Theater of Bosra. The theater could seat up to 15000 people and because they built a fortress around it, it is now one of the best preserved Roman theaters in the world.
The theater of Amman built during the reign of Antoninus Pius is to this day, the most impressive monument of Jordan. It is in very good condition ad in 1984 was a safe haven for Palestinian refugees.
Despite the fact that this theater was closed in 391 A.D, in the nineteenth century the Roman theater of Orange was restored and it is now hosting the Chorégies d’Orange, a summer opera festival.
The Roman ruins of Side include a theater so big that it could host 15000 people. The theater was the cultural spot of the Side city for many years and attracted many tourists from all over the Mediterranean region.