Great Theatre

sights / Historic

Great Theatre information

Ephesus , Turkey
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Originally built under Hellenistic King Lysimachus, the Great Theatre was reconstructed by the Romans between AD 41 and 117 and it is thought St Paul preached here. However, they incorporated original design elements, including the ingenious shape of the cavea (seating area), part of which was under cover. Seating rows are pitched slightly steeper as they ascend, meaning that upper-row spectators still enjoyed good views and acoustics – useful, considering that the theatre could hold an estimated 25,000 people.

Indeed, Ephesus' estimated peak population (250,000) is supported by the archaeologists' method of estimation: simply multiply theatre capacity by 10. Although rock concerts stopped taking place here in the 1990s, the theatre is still used for other events and has a seating capacity of 8000.