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Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Built on the Acropolis' southwest slope in memory of the beloved wife of magnate Atticus, this 2nd century theatre is still used today as a venue for live performances.

TravelCurious Tip

If you do make it to a live performace, you may want to bring a coat or a jumper to sit on – the ancient Greeks may not have minded, but two hours on stone seating can be trying for the modern visitor!

On the western end of the Acropolis’ southern slope lies the impressively renovated Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Capable of seating a crowd of 5,000, it was built in 161 AD by the Athenian aristocrat who gave his name to the building. Originally it had an expensive cedar of Lebanon roof, but this was destroyed when the Germanic Heruli tribe attacked Athens in 267 and destroyed many of its great buildings, including the Odeon. The damage done to the amphitheatre was not repaired as quickly as elsewhere, and it was only after a painstaking renovation in the 1950s that the Odeon was finally restored to its former glory.


An Ancient Stage

These days, the gleaming rock-cut steps descend spectacularly in front of you as you stand at the amphitheatre’s rim. From here you also have a great view out over the city itself, before wandering down to tread in the footsteps of the actors and musicians who once played here nearly 2000 years ago.


The Modern Venue

The Odeon is still used for performances today, with Frank Sinatra, Sting and Elton John all having played here at various times. If you are lucky enough to attend, the feeling of watching the spectacle on a warm evening in this ancient place will give you a more evocative experience of the ancient Greek lifestyle than can be found anywhere else on the Acropolis.


Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Athens
Acropolis
An ancient citadel high above the city, this group of stunning ruins are among the most important cultural icons of Western civilisation.
Parthenon
Crowning the Acropolis hill, the sublime marble columns of the Parthenon form the most recognisable monument in Athens.
Propylaea
This stunning monumental gateway leads onto the plateau of the Acropolis.
Temple of Athena Nike
Next to the Propylaea lies the Acropolis' earliest Ionic temple, built for the goddess of victory and restored after its destruction in 1686.
Anafiotika
Populated with small, cubic houses in Cycladic style, this beautiful tiny neighbourhood is part of the historical Plaka area.
Areopagus Hill
Also known as the Rock of Ares, this outcrop is famed as the location of Paul's sermon to the Athenians.

Related Tours

Private Ancient Athens in Half a Day
Incredible human endeavour built The Acropolis 2,500 years ago as thousands of tons of marble, quarried at Mount Pentelicus 10 miles northeast of the city, were lugged up steep steps to the Attica plateau by vast legions of manual labour. Hand hewn using mallets, foundations were built using great blocks of limestone dating back to the Late Cretaceous period. On your private half day tour of Ancient Athens, you will: 

  • Enjoy a private, immersive cultural experience that brings archaeology to life.
  • Understand the human endeavour required to complete the The Acropolis 2,500 years ago.
  • Be intellectually stimulated - your tour is full of fascinating narrative.
  • Climb up to the Acropolis complex to marvel at this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Wander through the Acropolis Museum, discovering the beautiful art and architecture. 
  • Discover Athen's theatrical sites, including the Theatre of Dionysus and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
  • At the Agora, gain insight into the celebrated birthplace of democracy.

Three temples form the Acropolis complex, the Parthenon, the Erechtheum and the temple dedicated to Athena Parthenos (Athena the Virgin). Today the Acropolis (meaning “hill city'') is Athens’ crowning glory: a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most important cultural monuments as the celebrated birthplace of democracy.

On this fascinating Private Tour of the Acropolis,  learn the sophisticated construction methods to build the citadel in the 5th century BCE. Study the most complete surviving ancient Greek monumental complex - having weathered earthquakes and battles with Amazons, Persians, Crusaders and Stormtroopers  - and explore the many reasons why the Acropolis induces involuntary gasps of breath from the millions who arrive in Athens to admire it. Beautiful and colossal in scale, this mesmerizing hill-top spectacle is the most-photographed landmark in Greece. On your private, guided  Acropolis tour, consider the importance of the structure as a universal symbol of the classical spirit and civilization. You will also discover some of the earliest theatres known to man at the Theatre of Dionysus and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, as you climb the steep slope to marvel at the splendour of the Acropolis and enjoy truly striking panoramic views over Athens.
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