Picture this if you may. An orangey- yellow hued, crater like place. And - a wild man – long scraggly hair, bare chested, wiry framed, leaping about. He waves and gesticulates wildly. Top of lungs howls interspersed with song; the sound both daunting and haunting in such surroundings that appear to be other worldy. No, it ain't a 'Lost In Space' scenario, could feel that way though …
This is the Theatro Petras, and that was Iggy Pop! A few years back he performed at this theatre in the western suburb of Petroupoli in Athens, Greece! (See my Radio Museum article for location– as the theatre's within its walking distance - with directions too).
The Theatro Petras or Petra Theatre is best known here in Greece for its annual International music and theatre Festival between June and September, though it is open all year round, and even worth visiting for a walk and look while it's empty – great photo op!
An outdoor amphitheatre is included in this open theatre space which has hosted plays ranging from Shakespearian to Ancient Greek, as well as the more modern genres of performing arts, and even Alice Cooper! Yet the Petra Theatre not only tends towards a rock edge musically, it does so literally! An old stone quarry houses it, while its amphitheatre section is built right into the side of a mountain- then- quarry, rock face.
Petra, actually means stone in Greek. So we're talking about the Theatre of Stone / rock, in the suburb of Petroupolis – which means Stone (or rock) City (the polis part). But don't let all that stone and rock put you off, because look up, and it's green! The theatre is surrounded by pine trees and shrubs and features a walking path with phenomenal views of Athens below. It's actually at quite a height above the city – though buses from central Athens bring you straight here as it's only about 10kms max away.
And to get the most of this pristine vantage point of Athens, a few steps away from The Petra Theatre is a large cafeteria called Terra Petra. This café is actually on the site of guess what … ? Remember, this is stone / rock city after all! Yep, it's on the site of another old quarry, in one of its old factory buildings. So the inside the café is made of stone slab walls, with metal and heavy wood fixtures. And there's a large balcony of tables and chairs, and another outdoor area amongst greenery. All there for you to enjoy your frapέ (iced coffee) or any beverage and/or snack you choose to indulge in, overlooking Athens and its surrounds. Free parking's included too. So, rock on up here!