The theatre of Dionysus, one of the most important ancient Greek theatres, dominates the archaeological site of the south slope of the Acropolis. No trace has been preserved of the 5th-century theatre which must have been simple in form with a few rows of wooden and stone seats. The preserved ruins belong to the monumental theatre built by Lycourgos. The permanent skene (stage) was then constructed, extending in the width of the orchestra. The cavea once seated 17,000 spectators, was built in about 340 BC. After its destruction by Sulla in 86 B.C., the theatre and the skene were rebuilt. Extensive changes were made to the orchestra and the skene during the Hellenistic and the Roman periods.
The old temple of Dionysos sheltered the old, cult statue of Dionysos Eleuthereus. It was constructed in the 6th century B.C. , during the rule of tyrant Peisistratos and his successors.
The later temple of Dionysos sheltered the chryselephantine statue of the god, a work of the sculptor Alkamenes. The building cannot be dated earlier than the middle of the 4th century B.C. as is attested by the pottery found in its foundations in 1963.
Restoration is soon going to be carried out so as to give more prominence to this remarkable monument.