Imagine standing center-stage in a theatre, dropping a coin, and someone sitting 55 rows up clearly hearing the clinking of the coin on the stage’s floor, all without the aid of a microphone or speakers. This must be a multi-million-dollar, state-of-the-art building in a major city, right? Wrong. This is the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus.
Designed by the architect Polykleitos the Younger in the 4th Century BC, this outdoor theatre is located in the Peloponnese on the side of a mountain. It is renowned for its unparalleled and perfect acoustics, architectural symmetry, lush landscape, and unobstructed views for the ~14,000 spectators it can seat for performances.
For centuries the theatre had been covered in trees and soil, which helped to keep it nearly intact. In 1881, based on writings from an ancient Greek geographer that mentioned a theatre at this location, a prominent Greek archaeologist was confident he would unearth it among the hills. After six years of excavations, the theatre was revealed. And since 1938, it has been in use hosting plays, yearly summer festivals, and thousands of tourists.