Friday, April 21, 2017

Ohrid: the ancient theater

One of the first sites we saw as we started to explore Ohrid from our hotel was the ancient theater that dates from 200 BC. Later it was used for gladiator fights - and execution of Christians - during Roman times.  For that reason it was completely buried by locals - and thus preserved.  It was discovered by accident. The lower portion has been excavated (as you can see in the pics below), and now there are summer concerts here.

captivated by this theater that is more than 2,000 years old

you can see that there was once an upper level. it is hard to tell how many people that the theater originally held

More information about the theater from the Exploring Macedonia travel website:

"The builders of Ohrid’s ancient theater have estimated very precisely where to put the building - in the center of the elevated old town. The open theater holds a perfect location, as the two hills (Gorni Saraj and Deboj) keep it protected from winds that could interfere with acoustics during performances.The Ancient theatre of Ohrid of the Hellenistic period was built in 200 BC and is the only Hellenistic-type theatre in the country as the other three in Scupi, Stobi and Heraclea Lyncestis are from Roman times. It is unclear how many people the original theater used to seat, as only the lower section still exists."
"During Roman times, the theater was also used for gladiator fights. However, since the theater was also a site of executions of Christians by the Romans, it rapidly turned to a highly disliked site by the locals. In fact, as a result of this dislike, the theater was abandoned and buried by the locals after the demise of the Roman Empire.Discovered accidentally and later excavated completely, this 4, 000 square meter monument to antique Greco-Roman culture is being used today during the annual Ohrid Summer Festival for performances of ancient tragedies and comedies. The Theater offers a wonderful view of Lake Ohrid and Mt. Galichica to the southeast."

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