Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Theme / Antiquity

Archaeological Site of Epidaurus

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Archaeological Site of Epidaurus

About the site


Corridor: Western Trans-Balkan Road
Country: Greece, Argolis
Type: Ancient Site
Epoch: Antiquity
Theme: Antiquity
World Heritage: Cultural Heritage
AntiquityAntiquityAncient SiteCultural Heritage

In a small valley in the Peloponnesus, the site of Epidaurus sprawls out over several levels. The cult of Asclepius first began there in the 6th century BC, but the principal monuments, particularly the theatre – considered one of the purest masterpieces of Greek architecture – date from the 4th century. The vast site is a tribute to the healing cults of Greek and Roman times, with temples and hospital buildings devoted to its gods.

UNESCO


The Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus was the most celebrated healing centre of the ancient world.
The cult is attested as early as the 6th century BC when the hill-top sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas was no longer spacious enough for the public worship of the Epidaurus city-state. The authority and radiance of Asklepios as the most important healer god of antiquity, brought to the sanctuary great financial prosperity, which in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC enabled the implementation of an ambitious building program for the construction of monumental buildings for the worship (the temple and the altar of Asklepios, the Tholos, the Abaton, etc.) and later, of buildings mainly secular in character (the Theatre, the Ceremonial Hestiatoreion, the Baths, the Palaestra, etc.). The Asklepieion survived until the end of antiquity, having experienced a second heyday in the 2nd century AD.

Expert network


Read more about Archaeological Site of Epidaurus at the Unesco World Heritage List.

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