Located in the Old Town of Plovdiv, the Philippopolis stadium is one of the breath-taking meeting points with antiquity.
Being a legacy of the Ancient Roman influence on these lands, the Philippopolis stadium is one of the most recognizable landmarks of Plovdiv. It was built by Emperor Hadrian during the 2nd century AD. In Roman times it could seat up to 30 000 spectators, was approximately 240 meters long and 50 meters wide, making it one of the largest remaining structures from the period on the Balkan peninsula. The seats are tiered in 14 rows. The seats themselves are made of solid marble slabs, decorated by stylized lion paws from front view.
Sadly, having layers of history bellow your feet is not always a positive thing, as most of the stadium of Philippopolis stretches along Plovdiv’s most prominent shopping avenue – the main street – and in order to recover the entirety of the stadium, the avenue and the buildings on it (some of which a hundred years old) must be completely, yet carefully, demolished. Some buildings have undergone reconstruction work in order to obtain glass floors, making the remains of the stadium visible.
The part of the stadium we can see today is located on Dzhumayata square. This is actually the northern curve of the stadium, restored to its former self and made suitable for the visitors of Plovdiv to experience the life of Ancient Rome.
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