The role of the theatre was great even in ancient times. It was always considered high art in ancient Greek, Rome and Athens, where people were inspired by the splendid plays. Today’s theatre owes a lot to those in the past. Let’s go back in time and find out the top 10 oldest theatres in the world!
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Herodes Atticus built one of the splendid theatres in the world in 161 BC. He called it Odeon after his dead wife. Atticus was considered a very wealthy man. Though he was Greek by origin, he had Roman honour and privilege in him.
In the theatre, various musical performances took place. The theatre could hold about 5000 guests. During ancient times Odeon had three stores but now it is a two-storied building.
Epidaurus theatre is one of the oldest theatres in the world. Moreover, it is one of the best-preserved ones. That’s why it could be considered the leader of the top ten list.
Epidaurus was considered both a religious and a political centre. After many restorations, we finally got a fantastic sample of the Greek theatre.
The theatre could include about 20000 guests due to its 55 rows. One of the advantages of this theatre is that the viewers sitting in any corner of the theatre can hear the actor’s voice in the same way.
Roman Theatre in Orange
This Roman theatre was built in the first century BC. But the Christian Church contributed to the closure of this theatre.
Since the theatre’s restoration in the 19th century, it is considered a place where opera festivals take place. Besides, there is a special audio guide (free) who helps the visitors to get acquainted with the show and the life during the Roman Empire.
Dionysus theatre is considered one of the most ancient theatres in the world. Here Athenian dramas took place.
Dionysus Theatre is considered to be built by Pisistratus. Then many changes were carried out until it got its present look.
But now almost nothing is preserved from Dionysus Theatre. The authorities do their best to make the state of the theatre better in order to be able to use it.
Roman Theatre of Merida
Merida is famous for many remarkable buildings, but this Roman theatre is considered the best one in the entire Iberian Peninsula.
Roman theatre is eminent with its classic Roman design. There are three various places for different classes of guests. This theatre is able to have 5.5 thousand viewers in it.
Many restorations occurred during which many architectural innovations were made.
Roman theatre of Merida still functions and attracts many viewers.
Greek Theatre in Taormina
Due to its perfect location (the eastern coast of the island of Sicily), you can enjoy the fantastic views of Mount Etna, Taormina and the Mediterranean Sea.
The Romans made many changes and enlarged the theatre. Since that time it has been considered the largest theatre. In this theatre many international festivals take place.
Roman Theatre in Amman
Jordan’s famous monument is considered the Roman theatre, which was able to invite 6000 viewers. The orientation of the theatre is perfect, as the audience can freely enjoy the performance and not be blinded by the sun’s rays.
Now only the ruins of the theatre are left. In 1948, thousands of Palestinians found their shelter in this theatre.
Theatre in Delphi
This ancient theatre is situated in Delphi. Even the temple of Apollo found its place in Delphi in the 8th century BC.
Due to its perfect location on the hill, the audience could enjoy the magical landscape. Being constructed in the 4th century, the theatre could let in about 5000 viewers.
Now you can find only the ruins of this ancient theatre.
Roman Amphitheatre Bosra
Bosra is known as an old city situated in Syria. Egyptian writings preserve notes about this ancient city.
As Bosra lacked cultural monuments, it was decided to build a theatre here which was to include about 15000 people. The high walls of the theatre make us think that the theatre is a castle. Due to these walls, the theatre exists now. Various concerts and festivals take place in this amphitheatre. Here there are 35 rows, a three-storied proscenium, and splendid acoustics.
In the ruins of Side, there is a temple, city gates and a theatre, which is able to hold 20000 spectators. Today, Side is considered a fantastic resort town in Turkey. While in ancient times it was a trade centre.
City Side was built in the 7th century and during the Roman Empire, it developed greatly. Surely the slaves and the olive oil greatly influenced the city’s prosperity. Here a theatre was founded which was considered the city’s cultural centre.
Later the theatre was used for many other purposes, such as a church and a place for gladiatorial combats.
Have you seen any of these Theatres yourself? Which one would you like to visit? Do let us know in the comments below!