Following the completion of its restoration, Türkiye’s ancient Laodicea Theatre hosted its first performance after 1690 years of silence. İzmir State Symphony Orchestra performed a special concert at the theatre’s re-opening ceremony. The excavation and restoration studies of Laodicea Antic City, which is listed on Unesco’s World Heritage Tentative List, were completed in a short period of 20 years.
The Western Theatre in the ancient city of Laodicea was opened to the public with a ceremony after undergoing 20 year-long excavations. The 2,200 years old theatre, located in Türkiye’s southwestern providence Denizli, hosted its first performance after 1690 years of silence at the ceremony.
İzmir State Symphony Orchestra took the stage in the primaeval theatre, becoming the first act gracing the site in almost 1700 years. Nearly 15 thousand people attended the opening ceremony to watch the orchestra’s performance.
The ancient theatre was reintroduced to the arts scene in the 20th year of the excavations, which were led by the Pamukkale University Department of Classical Archaeology Chair Prof. Dr. Celal Şimşek and completed with the support of the Denizli Metropolitan Municipality, South Aegean Development Agency, and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The ancient city of Laodicea was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tentative List in 2013, as the ancient city was regarded as one of the largest and most important archaeological sites in Türkiye.
Laodicea: An Important Centre of Faith and Trade
Laodicea was an important metropolis of its time in Anatolia. The settlement became a city in the Hellenistic Period and lived its golden years between 1-5th century CE, which lasted from the Roman Imperial Period to the Early Eastern Roman Period. Laodicea became an important center of Christianity and a place of pilgrimage in the Early Eastern Roman Period, thanks to the city’s lively trade life.
Laodicea is home to one of the 7 churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation and the Western Theatre is just one of the many impressive remains the ancient city boasts. Laodicea hosts the largest ancient stadium in Anatolia, two theatres (Western and Northern), four bath complexes, numerous churches, and five agoras. It is surrounded by necropolises on four sides. The Western Theatre of the primaeval city was built in the 2nd century BCE with a capacity of 15,000 spectators.