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Ancient Theater of Messene in Peloponnese

Located in the area of Ithomi in the heart of Peloponnese, the Ancient Theater of Messene is one of the most impressive historic sites in the country. Dating back to the 3rd century BC, this site is part of Ancient Messene with the Agora and Asklipeio. Along with the theatrical performances and cultural events, this theater was also used as a parliament and a place of assembly for the locals ever since antiquity. So over the years, it has marked the history of the region in a unique manner.

ancient theater of messene

The theater resembles the shape of a horseshoe and there are stairways every 20 meters or so, dividing it into different sections. Marble and granite columns support the construction, while there are at least three storeys in the Roman scene with arches and elaborate doors. Overall, this has been a great structure used for the construction of the Ancient Theater of Messene. Even though it was most likely abandoned in the 3rd century AD to be transformed into a form of quarry for the Christian churches, it has now been fully renovated. So after 1,700 years of being put aside, the theater opened its doors to the public again in 2013.

ancient theater of messene

The International Youth Festival of Ancient Drama is held on an annual basis at the theater, gathering global attention. This is a festival for Greek and Latin drama, either in the form of tragedy or comedy. It is not a competition, rather than an experiential contact for the youth with this distinctive cultural heritage. The festival takes place every April.