Aitoloakarnania, apart from Acheloos, olives and tobacco, is distinguished by its remarkable archaeological heritage.

Χωρίς καμία αμφιβολία η Αιτωλοακαρνανία μπορεί να περηφανεύεται, γιατί είναι ο νομός με τα περισσότερα αρχαία θέατρα στην Ελλάδα, αφού κοσμείται από 6 αρχαιολογικά στολίδια σε διάφορα σημεία του.

The ancient theaters of our prefecture are located in Stratos, Oiniades, Calydon, Nea Makinesia, Plevrona and Amphilochiko Argos.

It should be stressed here that it is certain that Thermos, the capital of Aetolones, has a Theater, but the necessary excavations have not yet been made.

Stratos Theater: The largest in capacity

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The ancient Stratou Theater dates back to the 4 century BC. and is the largest in capacity in the Prefecture of Aitoloakarnania (about 7.000 viewers). It is located in the eastern part of the ancient city of Stratos (formerly the capital of Akarnania) and overlooks the river Acheloos and its valley.

The theater was connected to a stepped road with the ancient city, while it is built of gray-green local sandstone. The crest of the circumference of the orchestra and the sewer are made of white limestone. It is also noteworthy that the Theater is carved on a natural rock.

The hollow is divided by 12 scales into 11 tiers. Up to now, at least 33 rows of seats are saved. In general, the Ancient Theater of Stratou is in a very bad condition.

The theater had been identified by 1805 by W. Leake. First excavations were carried out by the French Archaeological School. The monument was later excavated until the 90 decade, when its excavation was completed in 1989-1996, with the collaboration of the Epica of Patras (Dr. Lazaros Kolonas) and the German Archaeological Institute (Prof. Schwandner).

Theater of Oiniades: The best preserved

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Ancient Theater of Oiniades keeps the roots of its history from 4 century BC and is the best preserved by 6 Ancient Theaters of Aitoloakarnania. It is located near the Agora of the ancient city, where it was first built by the Athenians.

The Theater received some reconstruction interventions by Macedonian Philip II, while 167 BC the Romans intervened slightly in its formation.

It has stunning views of the surrounding lowlands, the old Acheloos River bed and the coastal areas. It has a capacity of approximately 5.000 viewers.

The cavity of the Theater is larger than a semicircle and consists of 28 rows of seats, of which only 19 is retained. Divided with 12 scales in 11 non-diaphragm stands. The orchestra of the theater (16,14m.) Is preserved in excellent condition, but not the scene, from which only the foundations of the foreground (21,89.) And the two backgrounds (5x5,62 each, to the east and west of the stage) . A characteristic of the theater is its very good acoustics.

The first survey was carried out by 1900 by American archaeologist B. Powell, when the scene, the orchestra, and the half of the hollow were revealed. In May of the following year, the inscribed stone blocks with (release) inscriptions were revealed in the southwest part of the hollow. 1987 revealed all its parts by the EPKA of Patras, followed by complete cleaning of the surrounding area. 2002-2006 has been upgraded with parts of the Theater.

Theatrical performances are still housed up to date in the Ancient Theater of Oiniadon, while several musical concerts are also hosted. All this in the context of the Festival of the Municipality of Oiniad that revives from 1986. The first play presented at the 1986 Theater was Aristophanes' "Aharnes".

Kalydonas Theater: The most ... strange

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For the ancient theater of Kalydonas, there is no official date of construction, but if we estimate that all other ancient theaters in Greece were built around the same time, then (arbitrarily) we can assume that the Kalydon Theater dates back to 3 - 4 century BC .

Its characteristic is that it has a rectangular orchestra (16 × 14) and its 26 rows of rows (from sandstone) are arranged in shape II, which gave it the characteristic name: "Boulevard of Kalydon"!

In front of the scene, the revelation of rectangular vortices indicates the presence of doors to the foreground, in which there should be twelve (12) Ionic pioneer columns, of which only six (6) were saved.

In front of the foreground, a pipeline was revealed in the excavations, communicating with a square water storage tank. Surrounding the scene and foreground, a large number of tiles have come to light, indicative of the existence of a roof.

The ancient theater of Kalydon was located near 1960, during the construction of the EO. Antirrio-Ioannina. It is located on the hill of Laphri, where are also the sanctuary of Artemis and Apollo Lavrion.

The latest investigations at the monument began with 2001 and continued until 2003, initially in collaboration with the Institute of Denmark with the "Interim Archaeological Society" and then with the Hellenic Archaeological Service under the direction of Dr. Lazarus Kolonna. His excavation was completed before 1 about a year and shows that the orchestra had a stage building. There is also a wall that is in the foreground and keeps the door openings and colonnades.

Macynia Theater: Overlooking the Rio-Antirion Bridge

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The ancient Macedonian Theater is located on a small plateau on the acropolis of ancient Makinesia. From the theaters, one can admire the views of the Patraikos and Corinthian gulfs, the Rio-Antirion Bridge, as well as the mountains of Achaia, Panachaikos and Erymanthos.

Its arched hollow and 14 rows of seats (without friezes and scales) are preserved to this day and are believed to be used as a bouleuterion. The orchestra and elements of the scene have also been revealed. The material used for its construction is sandstone.

At the highest point of the theater there were three straight and parallel rows of seats with backrests, where the officials were obviously sitting, while in front of them there was a stone throne for the honored face.

The theater came to light in the decade of 80 during the cleaning of the ancient city by the competent EPA of Patras.

Even today almost every year there are performances, but also (several times) meetings of citizens of the region.

Plevronas Theater: The theater-fortress

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Ancient Pleuronas Theater is in contact with the western side of the New Pleuron fortification and at a distance of approximately 130 from the main gate. It is one of the most interesting ancient theaters, both due to the unique view towards the Mesolongi Lagoon, as well as its unique construction.

Its foreground is arranged in front of and in contact with the wall, the concave faces towards the west, while the stage theater function completes the 3 tower (6,5 × 3,3m). This tower is preserved at 5,70m height. that is, it should be an auxiliary space of the scene and the backgrounds. Theater walkways were 2,40 m wide with very distinctive corridors.

The orchestra of the theater (diameter 11,60 μ.) Is formed with soil in the natural ground. It is estimated that 25-30 would have rows of seats. Only 16 is visible.

The lodges in several places are made of rectangular carved stones, while others are carved in the natural rock.

The current state of the Theater is satisfactory, and it does not encounter particular static problems.

Amphilochikos Argos Theater: The unknown

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The ancient theater of Amphilochiki Argos is the most unknown of all the past. Besides, until now, there have been no complete surveys or excavations to know much.

It is located in an olive grove (Huta heir) at a distance of 12 km from Amfilochia near the current settlement of Kenourgio Ambelakia.

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Sources: diazoma.gr, agriniovoice.gr, archaiologia.gr, wikipedia, website of the Prefecture of Aitoloakarnania, Stratosphere Magazine

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