Plovdiv Amphitheatre: Trajan Wonder at Bulgaria's Heart

July 10, 2009, Friday // 10:54 ; Henry Rowlands
Plovdiv Amphitheatre: Trajan Wonder at Bulgaria's Heart: Plovdiv Amphitheatre: Trajan Wonder at Bulgaria's Heart
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Ok, I have, over recent months given you a brief seaside excursion, so it is about time to get off the sun lounger and head back inland to see another of Bulgaria's historical wonders.

This place for once is easily accessed - the Roman Amphitheatre in Plovdiv. The amphitheatre was only found in the early 1970's due to a landslide, this led to a major archeological excavation, including the removal of 15 feet of earth covering what was left hidden by the landslide.

There was found to be damage to parts of the amphitheatre where Atilla the Hun attacked Plovdiv around the 5th century AD but in general it is a magnificent structure that has stood the test of time.

It was completed under the rule of the Roman emperor Trajan, and is the largest Roman building to be found in Bulgaria. The amphitheatre stands between the south-western slope of the Dzhambaz Tepe and the Taxim tepe hill within the old town.

Built with a capacity of around 7 000 seats, each section of seating had the names of the city quarters engraved on the benches, so the citizens at the time knew where they were to sit.

During the summer months the theatre has once again become a place of entertainment where theatrical shows and entertainment are re-enacted for a small remittance. Easy to find, great to see, but if you can take a wider look at the city and the magnificent preservation work which has been, and is going on, it is nice to see a people who take pride in their city's history.

Just to put things into context, Plovdiv is a contemporary of Troy and Mycenae, and older than Rome, Athens, Carthage or Constantinople. One word of caution however, if you are using a G.P.S system to get about, there has been a lot of road works and as a result we found it a city easy to get into but hard to get out of, but hey, it's Bulgaria.


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