Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The grand Roman theatre of Plovdiv: 2.000 years old and alive

First, see the four photos below.

Empty, during the day.

A theatre performance.
A classical orchestra concert.
Full of spectators.

The Roman Theatre of Bulgaria's second largest city Plovdiv was discovered by chance 1972 due to a landslide. The nearly 2.000 years old building is well preserved and nowadays is an important venue of concerts, theatre performances, and other events.

It has good acoustics, and the classic plan of seating allows one to see the stage well from wherever s/he stays. In the old days of the Roman Empire (today's Bulgaria, then called Thracia, was a province of it) people from each district of the city (then called Philipopolis) has their own designated seating areas.

Nowadays, of course, one sits where s/he likes but it's a good idea to arrive at the performances a bit in advance as they normally are very popular.  

Behind the stage one can admire the tall Roman columns & statues; above the stage and the whole theatre one can see the night sky. Few things are nicer than a live performance right under the stars. Even if it's such a heavily cliched experience.

Back in the Roman times the theatre was also used for gladiator fights (there are some constructions around the stage proving this). Nowadays, although the shows on the stage are quite different, the spectators still sit the classical way: on cushions placed on the stone seats.

Text and photos (c) Agne Drumelyte, 2013.

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