Epidaurus is an ancient city of the Argolida region and is located at 12 km from the modern town of Old Epidaurus. It is situated at the foothills of Arachnaio, Korifeo and Tithio mountains, where according to mythology god Asclepius was born.
Worship of the god began in Epidaurus in the 6th c. BC. The city flourished due to its strategic location, but mainly because of the Asklepieion. Its inhabitants were mainly involved with shipping. The first settlement dates to the prehistoric period. Among the ancient theatres, the theatre of Epidaurus is the most attractive and well preserved. According to Pausanias, Polykleitos the Younger designed it and it was built in a ravine.
It originally served for the entertainment of patients visiting Asklepieion, and has a capacity of 13,000 spectators. Excellent acoustics, but also its very good state of preservation, enabled the organisation of the International Festival of Epidaurus at the theatre. Famous Greek actors, such Alexis Minotis, Katina Paxinos, Anna Synodinos etc, as also the famous Greek soprano Maria Callas, have performed there.
During the Greek Revolution against the Ottoman Empire, two important national assemblies took place in Epidaurus, the first on 20th December 1821, which proclaimed the independence of the Greeks, and the second in March 1826.