Ancient Theatre of Ohrid, Ohrid

Ancient Theatre of Ohrid, Ohrid (must see)

The Ancient Theatre of Ohrid is a remarkable Hellenistic-period relic, dating back to 200 BC. It holds the distinction of being the only theater of its type in the country, contrasting with the Roman-era theaters found in Scupi, Stobi, and Heraklea Lynkestis. Originally designed to host a considerable audience, only the lower section of the theater survives today, making it difficult to ascertain its full capacity.

Strategically nestled between two hills, the theater's location is ideal, providing natural wind protection which enhances its acoustics, a feature crucial for the live performances it was built to host. During the Roman era, the theater’s purpose expanded to include gladiator fights and it also served as a venue for executing Christians, which led to its growing unpopularity among the local populace. This disfavor ultimately resulted in the theater being buried by the locals following the fall of the Roman Empire, an act which inadvertently preserved much of its structure.

The theater remained hidden until the 1980s when it was accidentally uncovered during construction activities in the area. Discoveries of large stone blocks engraved with depictions of the Greek god Dionysus and the muses suggested the presence of a significant Greek cultural site, leading to its excavation.

Revived in the late 1980s, the Ancient Theatre of Ohrid has been reintegrated into cultural life, hosting a variety of public performances including plays, concerts, operas, and ballet. It has also become a prestigious venue within the Ohrid Summer Festival, attracting international performances from renowned groups and artists like the Bolshoi and José Carreras. This historical site not only serves as a testament to the architectural and cultural achievements of ancient times but also as a vibrant center of contemporary cultural expression.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Ohrid. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Ancient Theatre of Ohrid on Map

Sight Name: Ancient Theatre of Ohrid
Sight Location: Ohrid, Macedonia (See walking tours in Ohrid)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Ohrid, Macedonia

Create Your Own Walk in Ohrid

Create Your Own Walk in Ohrid

Creating your own self-guided walk in Ohrid is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Ohrid Introduction Walking Tour

Ohrid Introduction Walking Tour

Ohrid was called "Lychnidos", meaning "City of Light." By the late 9th century, the town was referred to as "Ohrid." This is Slavic, meaning "on a hill." With its 365 churches, it was known as "Jerusalem of the Balkans."

Legend says King Cadmus, banished from Thebes, founded the town on a hill overlooking the lucid waters of Lake Ohrid. That may...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Ohrid's Historical Churches

Ohrid's Historical Churches

According to the legend based on the observations of 15th-century Ottoman traveler Evlia Celebia, the town of Ohrid used to have within its boundaries 365 chapels – one for every day of the year. At some point during Medieval times, Ohrid was even dubbed Slavic Jerusalem. Today, although the number of churches is considerably smaller, the architectural and historical value of those that remain...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles