Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Find information about the main attractions in the Acropolis

Inside the Odeon of Herodes Atticus

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a beautifully preserved Roman-era amphitheater located on the south slope of the Acropolis of Athens. Built in 161 AD by the wealthy Greek senator Herodes Atticus, the Odeon was designed for musical and theatrical performances, with a seating capacity of up to 5,000 people. Today, it remains an important cultural attraction and a testament to the grandeur of ancient Greek and Roman architecture.

What is the history of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus?

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus was built in memory of Herodes Atticus’ wife, Regilla, who died in 160 AD. Herodes was a wealthy and influential Greek senator who served as a consul in Rome and was known for his philanthropic activities. The Odeon was one of his many gifts to the city of Athens, and it quickly became a popular venue for musical and theatrical performances.

The Odeon’s original name was the “Odeon of Regilla,” but it was later renamed in honor of Herodes Atticus. The theater was in use for several centuries, but it was eventually abandoned and fell into disrepair. It was rediscovered in the early 20th century and has since been extensively restored.

Restoration of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus underwent a major restoration in the mid-20th century to restore the ancient theater to its former glory. The restoration was funded by the Greek government and took several years to complete. The restoration process involved repairing and replacing the original stone seating, restoring the stage area, and improving the acoustics of the theater. Today, visitors can see the results of the restoration in the well-preserved seating area and the restored stage backdrop. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is now used for various cultural events and performances, including concerts, plays, and dance performances, bringing the ancient theater back to life for modern audiences to enjoy.
Top view of Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Architecture of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus was designed in the Roman style and features many elements typical of Roman-era amphitheaters. The theater is built into a natural slope, and the semi-circular orchestra is surrounded by tiered seating. The stage is raised and framed by a tall back wall with niches for statues.

The Odeon’s facade is made of white marble and features an impressive archway at the entrance. The archway is flanked by two columns topped with Corinthian capitals. The archway’s keystone is carved in the shape of a lion’s head, a common motif in Roman architecture.

The Odeon’s seating area is divided into three sections: the diazoma, the lower cavea, and the upper cavea. The diazoma is a walkway that separates the lower and upper cavea and allows access to the seating area. The lower cavea is divided into several sections, with rows of seats separated by staircases. The upper cavea is also divided into sections, with the seats arranged in a radial pattern.

The Odeon’s stage is raised and features a semi-circular area for performers. The back wall of the stage is divided into three sections, with the central section featuring a niche for a statue. The Odeon’s stage was originally covered with a wooden roof, but this was later removed.

Must see things in the Odeon of Herodes Atticus

The stage and skene

The stage and skene of the Odeon are particularly impressive, featuring marble columns and intricate carvings. The skene was likely used for storage and dressing rooms, while the stage was the main performance area.

The acoustic system

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is renowned for its excellent acoustics, which allow even the quietest sounds to be heard clearly from any seat in the theater. Visitors can test the acoustics by standing on the stage and speaking or singing.


The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is still used for performances today, particularly during the Athens and Epidaurus Festival in the summer. Visitors can attend a performance to experience the theater as it was meant to be used.

The surrounding area

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is located in a beautiful park, with plenty of green space and walking paths. Visitors can take a stroll through the park and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

More information


Acropolis skip the line ticket + audio guide

The Acropolis ticket grants visitors access to the archaeological site of the Acropolis and its slopes, including the Parthenon, the Theater… see more


Acropolis museum shop

While visiting the Acropolis in Athens is a must-see experience for anyone interested in ancient Greek history and culture, not visiting the… see more



The Parthenon is an iconic symbol of ancient Greek civilization and a masterpiece of classical Greek architecture. It is located on the Acr… see more