As the most important sacred site in Athens, the Acropolis was a gathering place for all sorts of rituals during ancient times. The south slope has actually been occupied by three di¢erent theaters, only one of which is open for performances today. That is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, known by locals as the Herodeon. It was built during the Roman era, between 160 and 174 AD and had completely disappeared under earth and rubble within a few hundred years. Rediscovered in the mid 19th century, it was restored in several phases throughout the late 19th to the mid 20th century. Even before its most recent restoration, it was used for music and drama festivals through world wars and civil wars. It became the home of the newly formed Greek National Opera in the late 1940s and a young Maria Callas performed there. In 1950s it was totally restored and reconstructed. Two other theaters are nearby. The 2.500 year old Ancient Theatre of Dionysus is an archaeological site that you can visit as part of a visit to the Acropolis. It is considered to be the home of European theater and once hosted the premiers of works by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes. No performances are currently held there but restoration plans for the 15,000-seat theater have been underway for some time. The even older Odeon of Pericles, on a corner of the Theatre of Dionysus, is believed to have been the world’s first roofed theater. It is an archaeological site and today only exists as a virtual reality model created by scientists at the Warwick University. What Can You See There: Since 1955, it has been the main theater for music performances of the annual Athens and Epidaurus Festival, held from 01 jun to the end of July. The theater seats about 4.500. Tickets go on sale as performances are announced, from mid-winter through the spring before the festival. Buy them through the website (greekfestival.gr) or in-person at the theater (Dionysiou Aeropagitou Street, Makriyianni, daily) or the festival box o¬ce (39 Panepistimiou Street, inside the Pesmazoglou Arcade, Monday to Saturday.) Need to Know: The nearest Metro station is Acropolis, Line 2. Entrance to the theatre is on Dionyssiou Areopagitou Street, the pedestrian avenue that links all the sites on the Acropolis. The tiers of seats are steep so heels are not permitted. Some accessible seats are available on the lower tiers, with ramp access, and wheelchair users can be driven to the square in front of the theater. Ferne lives in London full time and has been writing for TripSavvy and About.com since 2004. She’s a lifelong, prolific writer and journalist with contributions to numerous guidebooks and anthologies. TripSavvy.com is one of the top-10 travel information sites in the world. It’s written by real experts that speak the local language and have tabs on the best of everything in town, from cocktails to kids’ menus. 27 The Odean Herodes Atticus BY FERNE ARFIN THE FIRST STONE OF THE ACROPOLIS WAS LAID JULY 28 447 BC, DURING THE PANATHENAIC FESTIVAL.