Following approval by the Central Archaeological Council
, the ancient theatre of Dodoni
is to be restored after ten years of being closed to the public.
Dodoni, located south of the city of Ioannina
in Epirus, was renowned for the Dodoni Sanctuary
, a place of great religious importance to the ancient Greek world, and the second most important oracle sanctuary after Delfi.
The theatre was initially an integral part of the sanctuary and had been destroyed and rebuilt twice, since the sanctuary’s destruction in 219 BC. Dating back to the third century BC, the theatre features a huge cave shaped into a natural cavity at the foot of Tomaros Mountain
.The theatre underwent alterations during Roman times, to be transformed into an arena.
It is among the largest ancient Greek theatres, accommodating about 18,000 spectators. Excavations in the site began in 1875 and continued through to the post-war era, while in 1960 the theatre was fully restored and opened to the public.
However, extreme weather conditions in the Epirus area, as well as three decades of visiting have burdened the monument. Now, after extensive study and a partial pilot autopsy of the theatre, restoration works are already under way.