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Epidaurus

Listed under Archaeological Sites in Peloponnese, Greece.

  • Photo of Epidaurus
  • Photo of Epidaurus
Photo of Epidaurus
Photo by flickr user flypegassus
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Greek mythology names Epidaurus as the birth place of Asklepios, one of the primary gods of healing and son of Apollo. In its prime the cities main sanctuary and temple to Asklepios and the centre of healing which was part of the complex were renowned through the ancient world. Pilgrims and the sick would stay over night in the temple and the gods would advise them of how to heal themselves in their dreams there. Hundreds of years later the mountain top centre and its local springs was used again used as a centre for healing, this time by the Christian faith.

Epidaurus’s main attraction, was and is, its amphitheatre seating 14,000 with a dramatic natural backdrop over looking the ocean. The excellent acoustics are still intact even in ruins and it plays host to performances today. The tour guides tell stories that a match dropped centre stage can be clearly heard by the audience in the back row (55 tiers up), this is because of the mathematical precision used in its design.

The amphitheatre is one of the best preserved of classical Greece, it was protected under soil for a long period and only excavated towards the end of the 19th Century.

Written by  Roy Adelwood.

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Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus

In a small valley in the Peloponnesus, the shrine of Asklepios, the god of medicine, developed out of a much earlier cult of Apollo (Maleatas), during the 6th century BC at the latest, as the official cult of the city state of Epidaurus. Its principal monuments, particularly the temple of Asklepios, the Tholos and the Theatre - considered one of the purest masterpieces of Greek architecture – date from the 4th century. The vast site, with its temples and hospital buildings devoted to its healing gods, provides valuable insight into the healing cults of Greek and Roman times.

Copyright © UNESCO/World Heritage Centre. All rights reserved.

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