Ancient theatre of Larissa opens to public after 20 centuries

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One of the largest and well-preserved theatres of Greek antiquity opened to the public for the first time after 2,000 years last week in the city of Larissa in Thessaly, Greece.

Ancient theatre of Larissa opens to public after 20 centuries

Dating back to the early third century BC, the ancient theatre of Larissa lies on the south slope of the Medieval fortress at the city’s heart, archaeologist Stavroula Sdrolia, head of the seventh Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities said.

Ancient theatre of Larissa opens to public after 20 centuries
Ancient theatre of Larissa opens to public after 20 centuries

In antiquity, apart from theatrical performances, it also hosted the assemblies of the senior regional authority, while at the end of the first century BC, it was turned into a Roman arena, she explained.

Constructed almost exclusively of marble with rich relief decoration, the theatre could host up to 12,000 spectators.

Ancient theatre of Larissa opens to public after 20 centuries
Ancient theatre of Larissa opens to public after 20 centuries

After an earthquake in 1868, a large part of the theatre was covered by the ruins of houses but excavation works in recent years have uncovered it.

Starting last week, visitors have access to the area of the orchestra and the stage, since restoration works are still in progress for the other parts of the theatre.

Ancient theatre of Larissa opens to public after 20 centuries
Ancient theatre of Larissa opens to public after 20 centuries

“Many locals and especially schools came on the first day of the opening. We hope that also tourists from abroad will seize the opportunity to enjoy this unique ancient theatre,” Sdrolia said.

Entrance to the site, located some 200 km north of Athens, is free.

Ancient theatre of Larissa opens to public after 20 centuries

Photos by: http://www.larissa-theatre.com

Source: The Times of Change [June 28, 2016]

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