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The Theatre

The most beautiful theater of the Hellenic world is in Priene Ancient City. It was built on the north side of the city in the 4th century BC. It is believed that this theater is also used for political meetings because of a thought that it is a water or mercury clock in there. Despite the many damages and changes in the structure, the building has typical features from Greek theater.

The building still preserves the stage building, seating areas, and structures behind the stage. The seating area had a capacity of 5000 people, consisting of 50 benches. Generally, any kind of meeting in the theater started with the ceremony of presenting the sacrifice to the wine god Dionysus. Dialogues were begun after this ceremony.

The Theatre / Priene Ancient City

A front stage was added to the front area of stage building in the 2nd century BC. This very good preserved front stage is 2,74 m width and 2,70 m height with 21 m. length. The columns on the front stage and in the stage are arranged together with a beam. The stage part also includes changing rooms which are rectangular style, with the doors opening to the street of Theatre and the front stage. These two-stage buildings are 5,82m width with 18.41 m. length. Each floor consists of 3 rooms. The so-called orchestra in the middle part is earth and has 5 marble seats. Marble seats are at different distances from each other.

Theatre Marble Seat / Priene Ancient City
An example of a marble seat in Priene Ancient City.

During the Roman period, the stage building was restructured using the marbles on the rearmost of the seat-areas. There are two gates called Parado between the seating areas and the stage building but they were closed with grab rail during the Roman period because its stones were used in the construction of the stage building.

There are magnificent examples of stonemasonry on the theatre walls. On the lower side of these walls, there is a square shaped pedestal where the orchestra connection. In these pedestals, there were bronze sculptures by sculptor Cleandrus. It is known that these sculptures are dedicated to the people of God Zeus and Priene.

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