Epidaurus (Peloponnese - Greece)

After Tiryns, we rushed to Epidaurus to be there before the last entrance time crosses and gladly we made it. The best thing about Epidaurus is, currently it is being restored (like Athens), so some of the monuments have been reconstructed already and some are being done now; tourism is well promoted, and the Greek Ministry of Culture has also come up with an app (link below) for the perfect self-guided visit! Its a vaaaaaast area and a huuuuge complex, so give it a couple hours in your itinerary.However since we were guided by Vassilis of WithLocals, he took us straight to the most important location within Epidaurus - the Theatre! This is one of the largest theaters in Peloponnese which has the seating capacity of 12000-14000. The magnificence of the theatre is only a part of the awe! It has crazy acoustics. It wasn't too crowded when we went with hardly 10-15 people in the theatre. Ofcourse Vassilis took it on himself to do a demo - we sat atop, almost 2/3rd rows away from the centre stage and Vassilis got there to the centre and guess what, we could hear his slightest voice and when others weren't noisy, we could even hear his footsteps across the stage, all the way upto my point! The acoustics is crazy and to think they came up with this in 1600 BCE, is purely mind boggling. Yes, just like Mycenea & Tiryns, this too is a Late Bronze Age architecture (though there were settlements here even earlier in 2800 BCE). This functioned till 1100 BCE. Currently, events happen here every summer and to quote Vassilis, 'its one of the most spectacular events you'll witness and sometimes international celebrities visit here too'! If you're really interested, the tickets for 2019 Summer programs are already in sale. From here, we did a short stop at the Greek Baths and headed to the Stadium. Its a typical Stadium with a track length of 180m. When the site was in worship, athletic contests were held here in honor of the God. The seats on either sides were made later in 300-100 BCE. Next we stopped at the Hestiatoreion. This is the only structure in Epidaurus complex that's relatively tall. It was the ceremonial, official entrance. This is a temple shaped building with 6 doric columns of which only 2 stand today with a portion of the facade atop it. Our next stop was the most important - Sanctuary of Asklepios and Artemis. The Tholos and Abaton are being reconstructed, so its easier to imagine them as a functional site, the rest of the structures are in ruins and only the plan of the structure can be seen. A portion of the restored, actual temples of Asklepios and Artemis (built in 380-70 BCE(Hellenistic era)) are currently inside the site museum. In its original place, only the floor plan can be observed, with the ruins of the of the temple that once stood here. Very close to this is the Bath of Asklepios, which is a semi-circular plan with short walls. Don't miss the inscription on this. The Tholos is a circular building and it has the pride of being an almost perfect circle or the best circular architecture of the era. Next to this is the series of ionic columns which originally formed a room as well. These 2 buildings together is supposed to be where Asklepious cured people of their ailments! So, this was like a hospital. The Abaton was built in 2 stages, because as the popularity of the temple grew, there were too many visitors to be accommodated here. The structure was made 2 storeyed. Today it is possible to do down the stairs and visit the lower storey. By this time, we were really really tired and we just walked past the other structures in the complex including, Propylaia, Ision etc and headed to the exit where quite a few cats were waiting to talk to Atyudarini!!!Here's a tip: It is NOT wheelchair or stroller friendly! Guide App: EasyGuideApp Epidaurus (Android), EasyGuideApp Epidaurus (iOS)Entry Tickets & Timings:Epidavrus: €12 (€6 in winter)Timings (for both): 8:30AM to 5:00PM (winters); 8:00AM to 8:00PM (spring & summer); 8:00AM to 6-7:30PM (autumn)To Get There:On Google Maps: EpidaurusFrom Athens: Several tour operators have private or group daytrips to Epidaurus (along with Mykinos & Nafplio). I took the Private tour of Peloponnese by WithLocals with the awesome guide Vassilis (€15 discount code).By Public Transport: Refer to my earlier post.

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