Theater of Dionysus

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The remnants of the Theatre of Dionysus are tucked away along the Acropolis in Athens. It is thought that the building, which was built in the sixth century BC, was the earliest theater ever built. It was once created as a location for rituals and celebrations honoring Dionysus, the god of plays and wine. The Greek tragedy would eventually have its beginnings in the theater.

One of the well-known sites in Athens is the Theatre of Dionysus, where the legendary classical Greek plays were performed. The orchestra was initially created in this location and used for countless performances as well as theater productions to enhance the dramatic effect.

The fertility deity Dionysus' feast also made use of it. This theater hosted several competitions and was fairly well-liked at the time. Here, plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and others were presented, and the venue could hold up to 17000 spectators.


It is thought that the Athenians would have worshiped Dionysus while seated on the cliffside of the Acropolis, where the present-day theater now sits. It is believed that the first festivals in the worship of the same god, which featured competitions for musicians, mimes, and dancers, took place under Peisistratus' administration. These were Athens' initial plays.

The seating in the Theatre of Dionysus most likely consisted of wood when it was first constructed but was later changed to stone. For the most influential Athenians, who would sit on plusher marble chairs adjacent to an altar to Dionysus, the first row was set aside. This theater hosted the world premieres of some of the most significant tragedies written by Aristophanes, Sophocles, and Aeschylus during the period.

Best things to see at the Theater of Dionysus:

  • An important hub of Greek theater and culture, the theater of Dionysus served as a location for festivals, theatrical contests, and enactments alike. Even a statue of the god Dionysus was set up so that he might observe the sacrifices and rituals that were being made.

  • The stone seats, which were installed in 330 B.C. and had a capacity for up to 17000 people, are among the oldest portions of the structure, which was originally constructed as a part of the temple precinct. Of the nine distinct building phases, what is still standing now is primarily from the Roman era.

  • All that is left now are the 20 seating areas utilized by the clergy, elected officials, and common people. The theater, which was constructed on the southern slope of the Acropolis in a natural hollow, has seen performances of some of the greatest Greek tragedies and plays by some of the most renowned writers of antiquity.
  • imageDuration Required
    3 hours

Address of Theater of Dionysus

Mitseon 25, Athens 105 58 Greece

Opening & Closing time of Theater of Dionysus

  • Monday
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  • Sunday