The ancient theater was reintroduced to the art scene during the twentieth year of the area’s excavation.
Following the completion of its restoration, Türkiye’s ancient Laodicean Theater just hosted its first performance after 1,690 years of silence. The İzmir State Symphony Orchestra performed a concert for nearly 15,000 people at the theater’s re-opening ceremony. The excavation and restoration studies of Laodicea City were completed in a short period of 20 years and the ancient city was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tentative List in 2013 as one of the largest and most important archaeological sites in Türkiye.
The ancient theater was reintroduced to the art scene during the twentieth year of the area’s excavation. The archeological dig was led by the Pamukkale University Department of Classical Archaeology Chair Dr. Celal Şimşek and completed with the support of the Denizli Metropolitan Municipality, South Aegean Development Agency, and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Laodicea was once an important metropolis in Anatolia. The settlement became a city during the Hellenistic Period, experiencing a Golden Era between the 1st and 5th centuries AD, 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 seven churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation, and the Western Theater is just one of the many impressive remnants the city boasts. It hosts the largest ancient stadium in Anatolia, two theaters (Western and Northern), four bath complexes, numerous churches, and five agoras, and is surrounded by necropoles on four sides. The Western Theater of the primeval city was built in the second century BC with a capacity of 15,000 spectators.