Ancient Theatre of Cassope Opens to Public After 21 Centuries

calliope feature

The illustrious past of Cassope, an ancient city nestled in the verdant slopes, unfolds anew as the renowned theater, dormant for over two millennia, reopens its gates to the public. Founded in the 4th century B.C. by the inhabitants of Cassope, the city's strategic location atop a plateau ensured not only security but also dominance over crucial land and sea routes.

Central to the city's cultural life was its grand theatre, constructed in the 3rd century B.C. at the foot of the highest hill, offering spectators panoramic vistas of the Ambracian Gulf, the Ionian Sea, and the distant island of Lefkada. The theatre's monumental presence, skillfully integrated into the natural landscape, attested to its pivotal role in public gatherings and performances.

cassope story

Originally established as a capital by the Cassopeans, a sub-tribe of the Thesprotians, Cassope flourished within the Aetolian League, boasting impressive public edifices and bustling economic activity. Guided by the visionary urban planning principles attributed to Hippodamus of Miletus, Cassope's grid layout comprised orderly streets flanked by significant structures such as the agora, prytaneia, temples, and theatres.

cass 3Despite its prosperity, Cassope met its demise at the hands of the Romans in 167 B.C., followed by abandonment in 31 B.C. when its inhabitants were resettled to the newly established Nicopolis. Subsequently, the once-thriving city and its magnificent theatre faded into obscurity, visited only sporadically by travellers.

cass 4However, the dawn of the 21st century heralded a revival for the ancient theatre, as ongoing restoration efforts led by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Preveza, in collaboration with local authorities and the DIAZOMA Association, breathed new life into the time-worn monument. Following meticulous restoration work on the first five tiers of seats, the theatre of Cassope stands once again as a testament to its enduring legacy.

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(Source: Greek News Agenda)

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