Music echoing for centuries in Bodrum Ancient Theater
MUĞLA – Anadolu Agency
The ancient theater in Turkey’s popular tourism center draws the interest of tourists from many parts of the world as it hosts culture and art events. Especially during summer nights, Turkish and foreign artists perform in the ancient theater.
The theater, which is one of the favorite spots for tourists during the days, draws attention also for the inlaid stone structures in some of its columns.
Bodrum Castle Underwater Archaeology Museum deputy director Tayfun Selçuk said the Bodrum Ancient Theater was one of the most important structures in the ancient city of Halicarnassus and one of the oldest stone theaters in the world.
Stating that the theater was built in the 4th century B.C., Selçuk said, “The plan of the Bodrum Ancient Theater was designed like a horseshoe. The theater is considered as similar to the Epidaurus Theater in Athens. Therefore we believe that it is one of the stone theaters in the world that dates back to the earliest era.”
He said the ancient theater was made up of two sections, which are “diazoma” and “kerkides.”
Speaking about the current situation of the Bodrum Ancient Theater, Selçuk said: “The theater has the capacity to host 10,000 people and it has been restored. The lower steps were intact but the upper parts were partly damaged by nature and people. Artistic events here still make great contribution to the cultural life of Bodrum. The theater hosts nearly 30 important events in a year. This is why it still maintains its function just like it did in the ancient era.”
Selçuk said the Bodrum Ancient Theater was built totally with stones and marbles, adding, “The sitting steps have been organized for nobles of the city. In the Roman era, the seats for priests and governors of the city were identified with inscriptions. Also, there are hollows to put sunshades in sunny weathers.”
Selçuk noted that the first restoration work was carried out in the ancient theater between 1974 and 1977. “Music has not stopped in the ancient theater since the 4th century B.C. People have been listening to music, watching plays and various culture and art events here for 2,400 years. Famous intellectuals, speakers and artists continue taking the stage here,” he said.
Selçuk said applications to organize events in the ancient theater were evaluated and that they allocated the field for such events all the time.
He noted that the Bodrum Castle was closed because of ongoing restoration works, adding, “This is why Turkish and foreign visitors go to alternative fields including the Bodrum Ancient Theater. The district has a great potential in the field of archaeological artifacts.”