Meeting… the Cultural Route of Ancient Theatres of Epirus

The nonprofit organization “Diazoma”, which aims at the protection, restoration and promotion and viewing of ancient sites, within the last development program undertook the creation of the Cultural Route of Epirus. In collaboration with other sectors, for the first time took up sustainable development focusing on monuments and includes four regional units and 5 archaeological sites (archaeological site of Dodoni, archaeological site of Nicopolis, archaeological site of Kassopi, archaeological site of Amvrakia and archaeological site of Gitana). This program was carried out in order to implement a visionary plan for the collective and universal management of cultural and environmental stock, which is the greatest legacy of our country. The creation of this Cultural Route is a starting point to gather and synthesize every experience that inspires and interests. The reason that Epirus was selected for the program is because, it is interspersed with fascinating monuments and archaeological sites with fascinating history, with architectural, crafts and tasty samples of a special culture.

The five archaeological sites included are an integral part of our cultural heritage. Their theaters are the protagonists of this path, and with the market it was a sign-trade city-state, of public life, since there are people gathered to watch theatrical performances, events connected with religion, destined not just to entertain but to teach. As stated in the official page of Epirus ancient theater (see. «The theater, as a construction was one of the main cores of life in the ancient city. And the Theater, as act, is one of the intangibles. The role of the core is played by theaters and in this route,  which gives rise to a rich, multidimensional, holistic cultural experience. ”

Our company has worked intensively with Diazoma, putting its mark in this effort by placing, through Mind the Map, dimensional printed maps for people with visual disabilities in all theaters included the streets of Epirus. It started with the installation of the first three-dimensional printed tactile map to the archaeological site of Dodoni. Of course, the placement of this map was only the beginning. Today, we are pleased to announce that, with the help and the trust shown by our partners, we have gradually completed the work by placing four additional tactile maps, one for each archaeological site which is part of the program Roads of Epirus. (Ancient Dodoni, Nikopolis, Kassopi, Gitana and Amvrakia). With the help of these maps a general view of the site through the legend is reflected, emphasizing the points of interest by describing through Braille in Greek and English. More specifically, the map placed on the archaeological site of Dodonis includes: experiential additions (fragment of the Ancient Theater Dodonis and lamina oracle 1: 1 in Greek / English translation and transcription in Braille, audio description of points of interest in two languages (Greek and English) and a description in Greek and English Braille for 9 points of interest in the archaeological site.

It is also important to note that the archaeological site of Dodoni where the presentation of the first map took place, although the creator of the map Mr George Mikrou was unable to attend due to prior commitments, in the event were present Ms. Maria Dalkafouki and Mr. Aris Mikrou. The presentation of the map was very successful because students of the School for the Blind of Ioannina had the opportunity to attend the event. Within enthusiasm and emotion, these people who have difficulty seeing, came in contact with the map, they felt the map, they examined it and were able as they said themselves,  to create a picture in their minds and just understand where They were and what they had before them.

We are very happy to participate in such programs. The accessibility of archaeological sites is very important as it gives an opportunity for people with visual disabilities to get even more in touch with our cultural heritage, which is also a privilege of all people. For this reason, we would like to thank Diazoma, and all counterparts who contributed to this effort.

Stay tuned for more maps!

Information for Mind the Map:

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See pictures of the maps below!