Epidauros is the most impressive and best preserved theatre of the ancient world in Greece, according to the guide book. 2300 years old, it can hold up to 14,000 spectators and has excellent acoustics that all visitors try out. Excavations by Greek archaeologists prove that Epidauros was a place of worship for religious acts in ancient times. Since the 5th century it has also hosted festivals, with sporting disciplines and artistic competitions. Every year, in July and August, there is a theatre festivals of international standing.
During our visit to Epidauros, the large car park is almost empty and the festival has not taken place this year. Also one of the effects of the Corvid pandemic. As sad and bad as it is for all those whose livelihoods are linked to it, for us this emptiness is pleasant. We don't have to wait at the ticket counter and we can take photos where no tourist is to be seen.
What we didn't realize was that the rise of Epidaurus was inseparable from the cult of Asclepius, god of medicine, son of Apollo and Coronis. His birthplace was located there. So Epidaurus was not only a place of worship in ancient times with temples and porticoes, but also a spa with hospitals, amusement parks, hotels and later on, with the Romans, thermal baths were added. Healing was probably done by hypnosis, but also by baths, relaxation and mental stimulation, for example theatre performances. We could well imagine all this while walking through the extensive excavation area. So the combination of medical and psychotherapeutic treatment methods, which is successfully practised today, also has its roots in the ancient world on Peleponnes. Learned something again!