Modernisation works in Larissa’s open-air marble theatre revitalise cultural tourism flows in Central Greece

The first ancient theatre of Larissa will undergo modernisation works in the coming months to deliver a new state-of-the-art theatre by early 2022. The Greek Minister of Culture Myrsini Zorba visited the site last week and announced the initiation of restoration works to the most important and largest open-air theatre of Central Greece.

The Larissa open-air marble theatre will be retrofitted with new technologies that improve an array of operational issues such as the provision of ramps to make the venue more accessible friendly. The Larissa theatre is expected to become a landmark venue of culture in Central Greece. Special tour packages will be developed to deliver this unique cultural experience to incoming travellers.

The open-air theatre is made of marble and has a seating capacity of 10.000 customers. The theatre was built within the ancient Larissa’s centre, off the Frourio Hill. It was set up by King Philip V of the ancient Greek Macedonian kingdom somewhere around the 3rd century B.C.  The theatre was a landmark cultural venue until the early 3rd century A.D., wherein several theatrical plays and cultural processions were hosted. Further, the theatre also hosted several important political events, such as city parliamentary assemblies, to facilitate the direct style democratic administration of the city since early antiquity. In spiritual terms, the marble theatre of Larissa is alleged to have been a former religious shrine dedicated to God Dionysus, the ancient Greek religion’s representative of entertainment, culture, arts, and winery.

Restoration works will be undertaken by the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the Larissa Municipality. Still, the municipal authorities would welcome the addition of new stakeholders and donors in the theatre project to fund the redevelopment of the adjacent areas to the theatre. The current urban blueprint incorporates the eventual demolition of nearby buildings and shops located in the proximity to the theatre and block its entrance.

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