Mycenae & Nauplia
Athens-Daily Delphi Tour
Delphi & Meteora- 2 Days
Athens- Classical Tour to Argolis & Peloponnese Pr
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The Sanctuary of Asclepius
Little indeed is left of the most important sanctuary which was formed mainly during the 3rd and 4th centuries B.C. In the centre of the enclosure stood the temple dedicated to the healer god Asclepius himself. Surrounding it were colonnades where the sick could rest and take cures (one such being known as the Avaton or Enkimitirion where patients would spend the night seeing visions of Asclepius in their dreams and thus become cured) as well as places of worship among which the Tholos, designed by the architect Polyklitos Junior and renowned for its decorative sculptures. Outside the enclosure stood the dwellings of the priests, the doctors, a gymnasium, baths, etc.
To the S.W. of the sanctuary was the 5th century B.C. stadium in which athletic and musical contests were held every four years. At the S.E. end was the Katagogion, by far the largest building in the entire compound. It served as a guest house with no less than 160 rooms for visitors who were healthy. In Roman times, hot baths were added to the faculties available.
The open-air theatre
Stands to the S.E. and is the best preserved theatre In the whole of Greece. It was the work of the architect Polyklitos Junior (4th century B.C.), seats 14,000 and has amazingly good acoustics.
This exhibits pieces from the Tholos and the temple of Asclepius, gypsum casts from pediments (sculptures by Timotheos), Roman portrait statues, inscriptions, medical and surgical instruments and ex-votos. Many of the Inscriptions are, in fact, prescriptions for medicines and descriptions of cures, valuable texts, without doubt, as far as the history of medicine is concerned and sometimes amusing as well.