Plovdiv Amphitheatre | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Plovdiv Amphitheatre

Tsentralen, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Lucy Davidson

28 Apr 2021

About Plovdiv Amphitheatre

Plovdiv Amphitheatre is a beautifully preserved Roman site which dates back to the 2nd century AD, during the reign of the Emperor Trajan.

Although known as Plovidiv Amphitheatre, it is in fact an ancient theatre, not an amphitheatre. It would remain in use for several hundred years, right up until the 5th century AD.

Also known as Trimontium Amphitheatre, at its peak Plovdiv Amphitheatre could have seated between 6,000 and 7,000 people. Rediscovered in the 1970s, this magnificent site still plays host to events throughout the year.

History of Plovdiv Amphitheatre

The Plovdiv Ampitheatre is one of the best preserved ancient theatres in the world. Located on the Southern Slope of the Three Hills, between Taksim and Dzhambaz tepe, in the city centre of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, it is among the most significant findings from the Roman period in the area and beyond.

A recently found and deciphered inscription on a monumental pedestal reveals that the theatre was constructed during the 90s of the 1st century AD, when Philippololis was under the rule of Titus Flavius Cotis, heir of a Thracian Royal Dynasty, the high priest of the Thracian province, and representative of the Metropolitan Court of Justice.

At the end of the 4th century, a large part was damaged, either by fire or earthquake, and an invasion by Attila the Hun caused it to finally be buried.

The amphitheatre was rediscovered in 1972 after a freak earthquake and a separate construction project began on an underground tunnel.

What followed was years of painstaking renovation using original architectural elements that has largely restored the remaining parts of the amphitheatre to their former glory, and is now recognised as one of the greatest achievements of Bulgaria’s conservation field.

Plovdiv Amphitheatre Today

Today, the theatre is the most recognisable landmark of Plovdiv, and regularly hosts events for up to 3,500 spectators at a time. During the summer months, theatrical plays and live music events are held there.

For a small fee, visitors can walk around the ruins, or for those who are happy to enjoy the view alone, an outdoor cafe has tables running along the fence on the street above, so visitors can stop and admire the Amphitheatre and the uninterrupted view of the Rhodope mountains in the distance.

Getting to Plovdiv Amphitheatre

The Amphitheatre is reachable in around half an hour by foot from the centre of Plovdiv via л. „Цанко Дюстабанов“ and бул. „Цар Борис III-ти Обединител“ (Tsanko Dustabanov and Tsar Boris III Obedinitel Blvd.) By car, it is reachable in 10 minutes, via бул. „Руски“ (Ruski Blvd.) There’s also a regular schedule of public transport that departs from the centre every 7 minutes or so, from opposite the south bus station, and takes around 15 minutes.

 

Featured In

Bulgaria Historic Sites

Discover the best Historic Sites in Bulgaria, from Perperikon to Boyana Church and more, includes an interactive map of Bulgarian cultural landmarks and attractions.

Roman Amphitheatres

Discover the best Roman amphitheatres from the Colosseum to Pula Arena and more, includes an interactive map of amphitheatres from ancient Rome.

.