The official inauguration of the Ancient Stadium of Philippopolis will take place on April 29, 2012 at 10:00am at Dzhumaya Square in Plovdiv.

The site opens to the public after finalizing the implementation of the project BG 0041 "The Ancient Stadium of Philippopolis - Preservation, Rehabilitation and Urban Renewal".

The Project "The Ancient Stadium of Philippopolis - Preservation, Rehabilitation and Urban Renewal" is being realised with the support of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The site is financed under priority sector 4 "Conservation of European Cultural Heritage". The Beneficiary of the project is Regional Administration - Plovdiv in partnership with Plovdiv Municipality, Association for cultural tourism and the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage.

The project is contributing for a solution of un existed urban problem, related to the Ancient Stadium of Philippopolis in Plovdiv - listed cultural site of national importance. Its exceptional cultural resource was unused, strongly discredited and without any contribution to the cultural tourism. The overall objective of the project is to reveal the role of the Ancient Stadium as a resource for sustainable development and to improve the quality of the urban environment in the historical centre of Plovdiv, in conformity with the objective of the ЕЕА Financial Mechanism.

And a little bit of history.

The Ancient Stadium of Philippopolis is situated in the natural terrain between Taksim Tepe and Sahat Tepe. It extends in its longitudinal axis (about six metres below the current level) from the Jumaya Square to the place known as the Kamenitsa Square. At Dzhumaya Square its northern arched part (sfendona) is uncovered in combination with some remains from an ancient street, a fortification wall and an aqueduct.

The stadium was built in the beginning of 2nd century AD during the reign Emperor Hadrian. The facility, approximately 240 meters long and 50 meters wide, could seat up to 30 000 spectators. Games similar to the Pythian Games in Greece were held here. Later these games were called Alexandrian and Kendrisian. The atletic Sporting events were usually accompanied by music, poetry and art contests.

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