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Ephesus Theatre Turkey

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 Ephesus Theater Turkey

Grand Theatre Ephesus Turkey
Grand Theatre

Grand Theatre is one of the most impressive monuments in Ephesus City. The building locates on the western slope of Panayir Mountain and used to overlook the harbor via Harbour Street. This great monument was built in the Hellenistic Period, in the 3. Century BC during the reign of Lysimachos, one of the generals of Alexander the Great. It was used to celebrate festivals, and organize musical and theater events with city meetings.

Grand Theatre was rebuilt several times in different periods of the Greek and Roman eras. The final construction, to expand and form the theatre its current structure that is seen today, started during the reign of Emperor Claudius (41 – 54 A.D) and was completed during the reign of Emperor Trajan (98 – 117 A.D).

The theater had 25 000 people capacity, known as the largest theater in Anatolia. It had sixty-six rows of marble seats, divided by two walkways between seats. Upper section seats were for audiences and there were arched entrances. Lower seats with backs were used by important people of the city and also imperial seat locates in the lower section. The stage building was three-storied and 18 meters high, Its facade facing the audience was well decorated with reliefs, columns with niches, windows, and statues.

Great Theatre was used for concerts, plays, religious – political-philosophical discussions, and gladiator and animal fights. This theatre is mentioned in Acts 19:29-41 and is known as the place where Apostle Paul preached Ephesians.

After Ephesus City was destroyed earthquakes and abundant theatre marble were carried away to be used in other constructions. Grand Theater is still used nowadays for concerts in summer. World-famous performers including Elton John have performed in this theatre.

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