Greece’s Larissa ancient theatre opens to public after 20 centuries

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

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Dated back to the early third century BC, the Larissa ancient theater lies on the south slope of a hill called Fortress at the city’s heart, archaeologist Stavroula Sdrolia, head of the seventh Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities told Xinhua in a telephone interview.

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.

After an earthquake in 1868, a big part of the theatre was covered by the ruins of the 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.

“Many locals and especially schools came in 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, some 200 km north of Athens, is free.

Source: Xinhua, TheToc.gr

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

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