Revealing of the Ancient Stadium (1973-1977)

In 1977 at Dzhumaya square the project of the architect L. Velcheva for the exposition of the uncovered part of the Ancient Stadium was realized and the first conservation (by architect Vera Kolarova) took place. On the level between the contemporary and ancient layer there was a coffee shop with an open terrace, overlooking the sfendona of the Stadium. The realisation of this project has the significance of  being the first professional attempt for conservation and presentation of the revealed archaeological findings. 

As a result of two-year excavations (1973-1974) at 19 November Square a section of the stadium of Philippopolis was uncovered – one of the most significant buildings in Roman times. After further research, in 1977 the ruins were exhibited after additionally discoveries under Lady Strangford Street.

Further excavations discovered the seating area with seats arranged in tiers (cavea), a part of the track as well as the underground passage typical for the layout of public Roman buildings for spectacular events.

Among the rows of tiered seats a vaulted entrance was organized connecting the track with the underground passage. It was accessible through a two-wing barred door. The underground passage went under the fifth row of seats on one side and into the terrain on the other. The passage was paved with solid blocks covering a draining canal. The track had a three-layer floor just onto the bedrock 7.2 metres below the present-day level. A draining system was integrated in the floor of the track and was connected with the draining system of the passage.

A text by Liliya Botusharova – the first archaeologist to ever research the site (1973-1977)