Ancient Theater – Plovdiv
The Ancient Theater of Philippopolis (one of the oldest names of the Plovdiv city) is located in the Old Town, on the southern slope of the Three hills, at the saddle between Dzhambaz tepe and Taksim tepe. It is one of the best preserved ancient theaters in the world and the only preserved antique theater building on the Bulgarian lands.
It was built during the Roman Emperor Mark Ulpii Trajan (98-117) and it is the main tourist attraction in Plovdiv. The building is adapted to the modern cultural life of the city and organizes various performances for about 3,500 people. The theater’s visitor locations are oriented to the south, to the ancient town in the valley and the Rhodope Mountain.
The open view area includes 28 concentric rows of marble seats. The eyesight surrounds the orchestra, which is horseshoe-shaped and 26.64 m in diameter.
Apart from theater performances, it was used for gladiatorial and hunting games and for the headquarters of the General Assembly (Roman province of Thrace). It was active until the end of the 4th century and accommodated about 6,000 spectators. Above the arched passage of the second rank seats there was a lodge for the emperor and the honorable personalities.
It is a functioning scene for opera, music and dramatic art. Among the most significant events are the annual International Folklore Festival, the “Opera Open” Festival, “The Sounds of the Ages” Rock Festival and many others.
A newly discovered and inscribed inscription on a statue pedestal indicates that the theater was built 30 years earlier, when Titus Flavius Kotys, the descendant of the Thracian royal dynasty, was the mayor of Philippopolis.
It is Part of the 100 national tourist sites of Bulgaria.
Photo: Dian Nikolov