Ancient Roman theatre in Ankara

A project seeks to restore the ancient Roman theatre of Ankara

The restoration project will give new life to the area of the ancient Roman theatre, discovered in 1982 and one of the few remains that are preserved from Roman times in the Turkish capital.

The Ankara Metropolitan City Council has launched a project that seeks to completely unearth the remains of the ancient Roman theatre in the Turkish capital and revalue the city’s historical and archaeological heritage.

The project, according to a statement, will be launched this year and is expected to be completed in 2021, although in fact the first expropriation works in the area have already started long ago. Once completed, the new archaeological park of the Roman theatre – which is located in the historic centre, within the limits of the Protected Area of ​​the Historic Urban Centre of Ulus – will cover about 30,000 m2.

The plan will not just will give new value to the Roman theatre of Ankara, located next to the old citadel, but it also will allow to unearth possible archaeological remains from Roman times that may have been preserved in the area, and will boost cultural and historical tourism in the Turkish capital. It also seeks to give new life to this area, which will host concerts, plays and other cultural and artistic events.

Brief history of Ancyra, Angora … Ankara

Founded about 2,000 years before Christ by peoples from the interior of Anatolia, the ancient Ancyra was the capital of the Roman province of Galatia and reached 200,000 inhabitants in its splendour thanks to being located at the confluence of several routes, being then an important commercial and administrative centre, although its importance was declining in successive centuries due to invasions of Goths and Persians.

It was abandoned by its inhabitants and razed during the Arab invasions of the ninth century, and centuries later it would begin to be known in Europe under the name of Angora, which it retained until the early twentieth century, when it was converted into capital being only a town of about 20,000 population.

The Roman theatre of Ankara, which is believed to have been built between the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC, was discovered in 1982 during some works in the area; partially unearthed by archaeologists until 1986, in 2009 a partial restoration of the area of ​​the cavea (grandstand) was carried out, but nevertheless it aroused criticism from experts for the use of materials other than the original ones.