Do you remember what occupied the space of the national cultural monument before?


The ancient Roman stadium is located on the square of the same name and divides the central street of Plovdiv in two. It was built at the beginning of the 2nd century under Emperor Hadrian. Its length is 240m, and its northern end has been exposed so far, and the rest is under the Main Street. In the past, gladiator fights, sports competitions and the famous Alexandrian, Kendresian and Pythian games were held here. Separate parts of the huge ancient facility can be seen in the underground premises of two of the buildings - the Excelsior shopping center and the H&M store.

Обновеният античен стадион
By Delyana - Собствена творба, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

In 2014, a complete reconstruction was made, and in addition to the entrance from the north, the staircase to the west to Lady Strangford Street was opened. A lift was built for the disabled and parents with strollers. The terrace was cut in an oval shape along the contour of the seats to achieve overall harmony. Locations for an information center and a cafe were also formed in the site.

In fact, the older people of Plovdiv remember that there was a pastry shop there for many years and they even waited for someone to get up to take the vacant chair. Some of us remember it as a disco, while others know it as the Arena. Along with the internet club boom under the hill, for a time the Roman Stadium was Zeon Internet Café, where gamers and IRC enthusiasts regularly met and spent hours in front of the screens.

After that, for quite a few years, the space sat empty and no one dared to rent it... until a few weeks ago. At the end of October, the CAVEA Roman Stadium opened its doors there. The name of the city's newest establishment comes straight from Ancient Rome, where the rows of amphitheater seats for spectators of performances were called "cavea".

The contemporary CAVEA is a place of experience, but also a play on words for all those tempted to visit it. Breathing new life into an emblematic location for our millennial city, CAVEA Roman Stadium follows a trend applied around the world - through a modern and vibrant establishment, to promote and honor a cultural monument.