Theater of Dionysus

Theater of Dionysus

The Theater of Dionysus was built on the southern decline of the sacred hill of Acropolis. This is the place where ancient Greek drama was born.

That is understandable since this is the theater is where all off the works of the great writers were performed during the events that were taking place during the Dionysia.

Nothing of the original theater has been preserved from its original form from 5th Century B.C., when it was nothing more than a dirt orchestra with wooden seats for its spectators. Later, between 342 and 326 B.C., the construction activities of Lycurgus made the seats of the viewers out of stone and built a permanent stage along the length of the orchestra – giving it the look it has today. Furthermore, 67 thrones of Pendelic marble (meant for important guests and priests) were created in the first row.

Nevertheless, a section of the ruins of the theater and the stage that we see today is due to the subsequent remodeling of 86 B.C. after the theatersʼ destruction from the Roman general and politician Lucius Cornelius Sulla. The Romans turned the venue into a place for public ceremonies and was occasionally used as an arena for gladiators.


In the 1st Century A.D., the floor of the orchestra lined with marble plaques and the façade of the front stage was decorated with bas-relief where the scenes from the myth of Dionysus were reenacted.

Above the theater, at the entrance of the cave of the Acropolis Hill, there is a choragic monument of Thrasyllus (320 B.C.) that, during the Byzantine Era, was turned into the present time church, Panagia Chrysospiliotissa.