The Odeon of Herodes Atticus, also known as the Herodion, is a breathtaking ancient theater located in the heart of Athens. Built in 161 AD, the theater has been restored and is now a popular venue for festivals and events. In this article, we will explore the history of the Herodion and the festivals and events that take place there.

History of the Herodion

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus (Link to wikipedia) was built in honor of the Roman Emperor Hadrian’s wife, Vibia Sabina. It was named after Herodes Atticus, a wealthy Athenian who funded the construction of the theater. The Herodion was used for musical and theatrical performances during the ancient times, and it could accommodate up to 5,000 spectators.

In the following centuries, the Herodion fell into disrepair and was eventually buried under rubble. It was not until the 1950s that the theater was excavated and restored to its former glory. Today, the Herodion is a stunning venue that hosts a variety of festivals and events.

Aerial view of Acropolis of Athens, the Temple of Athena Nike, Parthenon, Hekatompedon Temple, Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Erechtheion at sunset - Drozdin Vladimir / shutterstock
Aerial view of Acropolis of Athens, the Temple of Athena Nike, Parthenon, Hekatompedon Temple, Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Erechtheion at sunset – Drozdin Vladimir / shutterstock

Festivals at the Herodion

One of the most famous festivals that take place at the Herodion is the Athens and Epidaurus Festival. This festival is held every summer and features a variety of performances, including music, theater, and dance. The festival attracts artists and performers from around the world, making it a truly international event.

Another popular festival that takes place at the Herodion is the Athens Open Air Film Festival. This festival screens classic and contemporary films in the stunning setting of the ancient theater. The festival attracts a large audience, and it is a unique way to experience cinema.

Events at the Herodion

In addition to festivals, the Herodion is also a popular venue for concerts and other events. Many famous artists have performed at the Herodion, including Pavarotti, Elton John, and Sting. The theater’s exceptional acoustics make it an ideal venue for classical music concerts, and it has hosted performances by some of the world’s most renowned orchestras.

The Herodion is also used for cultural events, such as book fairs and art exhibitions. These events attract a diverse audience and showcase the rich cultural heritage of Athens.

In Conclusion The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a magnificent ancient theater that serves as a spectacular venue for festivals and events. Its rich history and exceptional beauty make it a unique destination for cultural experiences. From music and theater festivals to classical music concerts, the Herodion has something for everyone.


Athens Unveiled: A Journey through History, Culture, and Modernity

Discover the grandeur of Athens, a city steeped in history and modernity. Start at the iconic Acropolis, home to the Parthenon, and Erechtheion before delving into the artifacts housed in the Museum of Acropolis. Enjoy a live performance at the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus, tucked on the south slope of the Acropolis.

Lose yourself in the narrow, picturesque streets of Plaka and Kolonaki, filled with boutiques, cafes, and art galleries. Indulge in shopping on Voukourestiou and Ermou streets, renowned for their luxury brands and local crafts.

Explore the vibrant neighborhoods of Monastiraki and Psiri, teeming with eclectic markets and tavernas. Take a look at our Monastiraki Flea Market Shopping Guide. Take a stroll through Thissio, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Acropolis. Gkazi, known for its vibrant nightlife, is a must for evening entertainment.

Climb Mount Lycabettus (read about Lycabettus Theatre) and Philopappos Hill for panoramic views of the city. Visit the National Archaeological Museum to view Greek art and the Academy of Athens for a taste of neoclassical architecture.

Experience the world’s only marble stadium, the Panathenaic Stadium, and catch a show at the Athens Concert Hall. Keramikos, an often-overlooked archaeological site, is rich with ancient tombs and ruins. Don’t forget to check our guide on Keramikos delicious local cuisine.

Athens is a city where ancient history and contemporary culture blend seamlessly, promising an unforgettable journey. Must read: A tour of its most significant landmarks and a tour of its ancient sites.