Odeon of Herodes Atticus or Herodion, the main venue of the Athens Festival hosting top artists and unique performances, is accessible via Dionysiou Areopagitou Street.
It is among the most significant and probably the most atmospheric cultural spot in Athens. Since its reconstruction, Herodion has a capacity of 4,680 people. In antiquity, it could house up to 4,560 people.
It was built between 160 and 174 AD by magnate Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife Regilla. It was a luxurious, huge roman Odeon which showcased mainly musical performances and unfortunately also suffered countless destructions and renovations (it completely destroyed in 268 AD due to a fire set by Herulian invaders). Pausanias, who visited Athens when Marcus Aurelius was emperor of Rome, described the Herodion (shortly before its destruction) as “the most significant of all buildings of that kind”. After this destruction, Herodion made its return during the modern era when it hosted important cultural events. Maria Callas appeared there for first time, when she still went by the stage name Maria Kalogeropoulou.
Nowadays, 52 years since the beginning of the Athens Festival, the Odeon still stands as the foundation of the festival and welcomes top artists. It faithfully offers its audience unforgettable performances year after year, under the sky, next to the Acropolis in the heart of art and culture.