The Agora and the Amphiteater in Thassos

The Agora in Thassos

The Agora in Thassos ©wallygrom/Flick

In the northern part of the city of Thassos, near the port and city museum between the years 1948-1955 were carried out a series of excavations that revealed the ruins of the Ancient Agora. It was the cultural and commercial center of the city where locals and foreigners met for business trading or spending their leisure time.

The paved road that starts from the old port of the city of Thassos, more exactly, from the northern part of it, leads to the ruins of the ancient amphitheater, a theater built in the third century BC with a scene of marble.


The Ancient Agora

The construction of the Ancient Agora in Thassos began in the fourth century BC, and was made in several stages, the works were completed only in the II century BC.

This public market  had a square shape, along the three sides being aligned several stores and warehouses, while on the fourth side were adimistrative and the religious buildings. In the midst of it there was a courtyard flanked by columns and decorated with statues of deities and their shrine.

The Agora in Thassos

The Agora in Thassos ©wallygrom/Flick

Known as the heart of the ancient town, the Agora of Thassos still preserves ruins of the temple of Artemis, and the sanctuary of Zeus and of Theagenes. In the north are the ruins of the temple of Dionysus, dating from the fourth century BC, and in the north-west stands a small ancient theater. A very narrow street leads to the so-called “Poseidonio” a shrine to the god Poseidon, built in the fourth century BC, with a wall surrounding the altar in U shape.

The little shrine in Thassos

The little shrine in Thassos ©wallygrom/Flick

The Ancient Amphitheater

Located in a natural cavity of a hill, this Ancient Amphitheater in Thassos could accommodate between 2000-3000 spectators, its position offering a spectacular view of the sea, as a proof of the noble spirit of the islanders towards art and culture. The scene and eventually the theater were dedicated to Dionysus, god of wine and culture.

The Amphiteater in Thassos

The Amphiteater in Thassos ©wallygrom/Flick

At that time, the amphitheater was used to host musical and theatrical performances, and in the Roman era, the scenes and rows of chairs have been renovated. Even today, you can see a list of names on many seats, which means that people used to reserve seats. In the first century AD, the amphitheater was used to host gladiator competitions, when the scene has become an arena. Later, the son of Eufrillos, Eragoras raised a rail with inlaid marble slabs in the bottom to protect the public against wild beasts.

Today, the Ancient Theater in Thassos is used for outdoor music events and  every summer  are held theather performances rendering the ancient tragedies.


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