The Theatre of Dionysus was a major open-air theatre in Greece; it is located at the outskirts of the Acropolis and centuries ago the plays of attic drama were here performed.
Its construction began in the second half of the 4th century BC; however its centre that still exists dates back in the 6th century BC. During the centuries it has been refurbished many times, so it is extremely difficult to determine its initial form. The Theatre of Dionysus hosted the Great Dionysia Festival, the biggest theatre festival in the ancient city of Athens.
At a very short distance (to the south) from the sanctuary of Dionysus it was a gigantic work of that era and caused admiration and awe. Its circular space made by compact soil was of diameter about 25 metres and it was the first “orchestra” (from the verb orchoumai=dance) of the subsequent theatre. Ancient tragedy originated from the circular dithyrambic dance of the Dionysus worshippers. Nowadays, only 13 rows at the central bleachers of the theatre are saved.