The sanctuary of the god-healer Asclepius -Esculape of Romains- is one of the most popular sites in Greece. This enthusiasm is justified not only by the exceptional interest of his theater, where dramatic performances are given today, but also by the attraction of a landscape planted with pine. No doubt the peaceful and bucolic charm of the site was to be instrumental in healing the countless patients who flocked to Epidaurus in ancient times.
Epidaurus in history
A god to cure diseases
Excavations have revealed that the site was dedicated from ancient times. But the cult of Asclepius, god of healing originating Trikka in Thessaly, was introduced in Epidaurus only the VIth century BC. J.-C.
The sanctuary enjoyed a special favor from the fourth century BC. AD, when owned most of the monuments. The patients, who came from all over the ancient world, then flocked to Epidaurus in the hope of finding a cure. Because of its human and individual character, the cult of the god-healer long feuded with the rise of Christianity. He died in the fifth century only when Théosose II prohibited.
And a god that we celebrate
We also had to attend to Epidaurus, every four years, nine days after the Isthmian Games, gymnastics and dramatic festivities in honor of Asclepius. According to Plato, there attending competitions rhapsodes (singers) who declaimed without music but by mimicking them, the poems of Homer.
The Festival of Epidaurus
If you visit during the Epidaurus Festival (mid-June to early September), stir heaven and earth to get tickets, you will not regret it! You will have the rare pleasure of attending a performance of a play by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides in the famous theater. The Sound of Greek in these magical places, becoming softer as the night slowly falls, will leave a lasting memory. The shows are held on Friday and Sunday evenings. Tickets can be purchased at the theater, but it is strongly recommended to book in advance to Athens.