7 Stunning Auditoriums & Theatres From The Ancient World

It’s hard to believe that some of these theatres are close to 3,000 years old, and it’s amazing that they’re even still standing. The amount of engineering knowledge that our ancient ancestors had developed is just as mesmerising especially when some of these auditoria rival present-day outdoor theatres in terms of acoustic properties. That’s amazing for a 2,000 year old theatre that is large enough to seat 25,000 people or more!

1 17 Stunning Auditoriums & Theatres From The Ancient World
The Colosseum, Italy
Probably the most popular of all ancient auditoriums, the Colosseum is also the largest known amphitheatre ever built during the Roman Empire. The construction of the Colosseum was completed in 80 AD, and it originally had a capacity of 50,000 spectators. This venue was used mainly for gladiator competitions and other public spectacles for nearly 500 years. Since then, the Colosseum has taken on some damage due to several earthquakes, and also from stone-robbers who want to have a piece of the famous auditorium.
The Colosseum is quite a large structure. Its original form was approximately 660 Roman feet (1 Roman foot = 0.97 feet) long and 520 Roman feet wide, and a total perimeter of about 1,885 Roman feet. The height of the outer wall measures about 165 Roman feet tall. The Colosseum is Rome’s most popular tourist attraction, and one of the greatest man-made structures of all-time.

 More Auditorium after the break...

2 17 Stunning Auditoriums & Theatres From The Ancient World
Epidauros Theatre, Greece

Epidauros Theatre: Built during the fourth century BC, the Epidauros Theatre was a huge 15,000 seat theatre with amazing acoustic properties. As a matter of fact, you can sit anywhere in this auditorium and hear someone on the center stage of the theatre strike a match. The limestone seats seem to block out the low frequencies of crowd chatter, and enhance the high frequencies of performers on-stage. The remarkable acoustic quality of this theatre was either designed by mistake, or it was because of some engineering far ahead of its time.
4 17 Stunning Auditoriums & Theatres From The Ancient World
Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Greece

Odeon of Herodes Atticus: Originally built in 161 AD by Herodes Atticus, this theatre was built as an amphitheatre with a three-story high stone wall in the front of the venue, and a wooden roof overhead. Since then, this 5,000 seat auditorium has been restored using marble for the seating areas, and it’s today used for concerts during events such as the Athens Festival throughout the summer. The views from this theatre, located on the south slope of the Acropolis of Athens, are spectacular to the say the least.
5 17 Stunning Auditoriums & Theatres From The Ancient World
Side Theatre, Turkey

Side Theatre: The resort town of Side is one of the best-known classical cities in all of Turkey. The huge ancient theatre here is spectacular and was constructed in the classic Roman amphitheatre style with extravagant arches used to support huge walls. The theatre was turned into an open-air venue sometime in the 5th or 6th Century. Much of this massive auditorium has collapsed overtime due to its sheer size and through erosion. This theatre originally sat between 15,000 and 20,000 people.
6 17 Stunning Auditoriums & Theatres From The Ancient World
Caesarea, Israel

Caesarea: This remarkable ancient amphitheatre was constructed over 2,000 years ago, and today it’s one of Israel’s most popular tourist attractions. This amazingly large outdoor auditorium is not just a historical landmark, though, it’s still used today for concerts and shows. The immense size and architecture of the ancient city of Caesarea is breathtaking, and the auditorium offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean from high atop the stadium seating.
10 17 Stunning Auditoriums & Theatres From The Ancient World
Aspendos Theatre, Turkey

Aspendos Theatre: Created back in 155 AD, the Aspendos Theatre is one of the most well-preserved examples of Roman theatre construction in the world. This ancient auditorium is 325 feet by 240 feet in size, and it seats up to 20,000 people. The cavea (seating area) consists of 41 rows of seating that are divided into a lower and upper section. The upper seating area features inscribed names of theatrical patrons of the time etched into the near marble-quality limestone. The theatre originally had a retractable awning that could be used to provide shade over the spectators on a hot day, and this is evident by the 58 post holes found in the upper level of the theatre. Aspendos Theatre is easily one of the most spectacular ancient theatres to visit, because it’s so well-preserved.
17 17 Stunning Auditoriums & Theatres From The Ancient World
Taormina Theatre, Italy

Taormina Theatre: In the heart of Sicily you can find the Taormina Theatre, which offers some of the most beautiful views of the bay of Naxos, the volcano of Mt. Etna, and the majestic Castle Mola. This 2nd Century BC theatre has a diameter of about 376 feet and a gigantic stage wall that measures 90 feet by 120 feet. This Greek theatre was later reconstructed by the Romans who used an astounding 100,000 cubic meters of stone to widen the theatre. The Taormina Theatre is still used today to host concerts, ballet, and other theatrical performances.

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