Theatre of Messini

The Theatre of Messini was discovered to the northwest of Asklipeio and 50 m. to west of Agora, Ancient Messeni. It was built in the 3rd-2nd century B.C. and is one of the greatest of antiquity. The amplitude reaches 98.60m. and the diameter of the orchestra is 23.46m. It was used for entertainment of citizens, but also for political gatherings.

The retaining wall that supports the cavea of the theater of Messini, is built of massive stones and has the same form as the walls of the ancient city. Every 20 meters it had internal staircases leading to the upper frieze. The stairways of descent began from there and ended in the orchestra forming the stands of Theatre of Messini.

The Roman scene is still preserved in good condition. The facade has many storeys (at least three storey) with doors, arches and niches, while it is supported by marble and granite columns. The column capitals that are placed to adorn these columns of Theatre of Messini, are precursors of the colossal Roman theater.

The Theatre of Messini was probably abandoned in the late 3rd or early 4th century A.D. During the early Byzantine era, the theater was converted to a “quarry ” for the construction of Christian churches.

The Theatre of Messini was renovated and reopened its doors to the public in August 2013 after a “silence” of 1700 years.

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