The world’s most remarkable historical theatres

The world’s most remarkable historical theatres

From the world of ancient Greece to the coasts of Cornwall, these stunning theatres and amphitheatres around the world gave birth to the theatrical wonders we know today!

Theatre of Epidaurus – Epidaurus, Greece

Theatre of Epidaurus – Epidaurus, Greece

The Greeks were the masters of drama, comedy and tragedy – and many of their ancient theatre-ish masterpieces still stand today.

One of the most impressive is the amphitheatre at Epidaurus, which was built in the 4th Century BC and holds up to 13,000 spectators. Surrounding this theatre, you’ll also find ancient temples, baths and gymnasiums.

Colosseum – Rome, Italy

Colosseum – Rome, Italy

Completed in 80 AD by Titus, the Colosseum holds up to approximately 80,000 and was the greatest architectural achievement of the Roman Empire. Today, it is still the largest amphitheatre in the world.

A walk around this incredible monument is a must when in Rome, and you can even see the trapdoors and hoists that were once used to create special effects.

Theatre of Sabratha – Sabratha, Libya

Theatre of Sabratha – Sabratha, Libya

Once a trading site for the flourishing Phoenicians, the Theatre of Sabratha originated in the Numidian Kingdom and was later Romanised and rebuilt in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries.

It was primarily home to gladiator fights, and now, the adjacent museum still houses artefacts and finds from the Byzantine, Phoenician and Roman eras.

Globe Theatre – London, England

Globe Theatre – London, England

It may not be the oldest or the biggest, but Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is packed with historical wonder, from the plays that were performed there to the royalty that attended them.

It was famously destroyed by fire in 1613 during a performance of Henry VIII, then rebuilt and closed again in 1642, 26 years after Shakespeare’s death.

Today, the Globe has been reconstructed a short jump from the original theatre site, where you can still catch one of Shakespeare’s plays.

Roman Theatre of Orange – Rhone Valley, France

Roman Theatre of Orange – Rhone Valley, France

Constructed in the 1st Century, this Roman theatre was a favourite for watching plays and is one of the most well-preserved sites in the world, with its original stage still intact.

You can engage in a guided tour here, but for a real treat aim to catch one of the amazing shows in the amphitheatre – such as the Equestriades Circus, the Lyric Arts Festival or the Roman Legions.

Great Theatre of Ephesus – Ephesus, Turkey 

Great Theatre of Ephesus – Ephesus, Turkey

This great outdoor amphitheatre originated in the 1st Century AD at the foot of Panayir mountain. It was later improved by the Romans, resulting in its current form.

Theatrical, religious and political events of the times all took place here in front of around 25,000 spectators and today, concerts still take place here.

Minack Theatre – Cornwall, England

Minack Theatre – Cornwall, England

It may have only been built in 1932, but this incredible ocean-side theatre in Cornwall is breathtaking – and worth including here simply because it beautifully echoes the amphitheatres of old. Minack was built by Rowena Cade, who moved and lived here after World War I.

Today, it’s become home to a yearly season of Shakespearean and other plays. If you can’t make it to a show, touring the grounds is a must.

Photo credits: MichaelThoeny, Ronny Siegel, Diliff, das_a, Hochgeladen von Tohma, Jeanlouiszimmermann, QuartierLatin1968, Haraldbischoff