Αρχαίο Θέατρο Μαντινείας – The ancient theater of Mantinia

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Mantinia is one of Arcadia’s oldest cities. It is 14 km from Tripoli and stands out in the Mantinian plains. Homer called it ‘Erateini”, meaning ‘lovable’. The excavations that took place between 1887 and 1889 by the French Archaeological Company brought an impressive complex of public buildings to light. The archaeological site includes the Agora, the temples of Hera and Zeus the Saviour, the majestic Parliament. The ancient theater of Mantinia dominates the west side of the Agora. It is one of the few theaters that was built at ground level and not on a hill. That’s why it has a strong retaining wall to support the man-made embankment. It is built with local limestone and white marble. The stage is well-preserved, virtually unimpaired, allowing the staging of performances even today. Its orchestra and the first row of cavea seats are also intact. The building of the theater was started in 370 BC but the embellishment works were definitely continued under the Roman Empire, at least until 222 AD. In its original form it had an audience of more than 6000. It is an impressive example of monumental architecture. It is well positioned. The gentle landscape that embraces the theater and its imposing mass create a harmonious completeness of immense beauty.