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GREECE > EPIRUS > IOANNINA > Dodoni
Dodoni
In a distance of roughly 20 km, in Ioannina, is located the archaeological space of Dodoni, one of the more ancient and more important monuments of the world's culture. The region is considered to be a cradle of Greek-speaking seces, as it results from the archaeological discoveries, but also of the reports of ancient writers, with Aristotle between them.

The use of the area as a place of adoration has begun in the pre-historic years and the outsets of the sanctuary are found in the distant season of the copper. The time of the creation of the Oracle is unknown, however it appears that it already existed at the Mycenean years, as they are reports about it in masterpieces like the "Iliada" of Homere and the "Argonaftika'", but also in works of later writers, like Irodote.

The first residents of the region worshipped here the Great Goddess, protector of euphoria and fertility and later the Goddess "Dryn", adoration that was replaced with that of "Naiou Dias» that the Thesprotians imported. At the beginning, the sanctuary was outdoors and it was believed that the Jupiter lived in the roots of the holy oak that was named "Figos". From the sough of the leaves of the tree and the sounds of the copper tripods around it, the priests gave oracles to the visitors. Every 4 years they were organised "Naia", Pan-Hellenic gymnasium, musical and dramatic fights.

The beginning of the building activity is placed in the 4th cent. B.C., when it passed in the property of the Molossoi, however the biggest blossoming of the sanctuary was marked in the 3rd cent. B.C. and particularly in the season of Pirro's Kingdom, when it was radically renovated and buildings were added, such as the Pritaneio, the Chamber of deputies, the Stage and the Theatre. The sanctuary was destroyed in 219 b.C. from the Aitoloi, it was rebuilt and functioned till the roman intervention and destruction in 167 b.C. At the roman years it functioned with another character, while its final ending came in the 4th cent. A.C. during the period of Theodosius the Great and basilicas were built in its space.

The more important monuments of the archaeological space of Dodoni are:
  • 1. The Holily Residence: Temple of Zeus that was built in the beginnings of the 4th cent. b.C., while at the next centuries they followed extensions and corrective interventions
  • 2. The Theatre: A work of amazing circular symmetry, it is one of the more ancient, magnificent and one of the biggest ancient theatre of the country with a capacity of 18.000 seats.
  • 3. The Chamber of deputies: Constituted by a room and a Dorian arcade in the facade.
  • 4. The Stage: It is not completely excavated. It is from the few ancient stages with stone seats.
  • 5. The Rectorate: Rectangle building that was useful as lodging of the priests or of the sovereigns of the Public of Molossoi. It is the most ancient building of the sanctuary after the Holily Residence.
  • 6. The Acropolis: Is found in the top of the hill and is surrounded with polygonal wall, 4th cent. B.C., that is strengthened locally with rectangle towers and allocates gates. In its interior, one can see foundations of buildings and an underground reservoir of water, built in the rock.
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