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The amphitheater of Alexandria

Every town in ancient Rome had an amphitheater, which means, "double theatre". They were grand and impressive, shaped in a half circle, open to the sky, and could hold up to 100.000 people. The stage had no curtain; it was just a stone platform.  Imagine yourself in ancient Alexandria, in the Roman theatre on a hot afternoon. All you can smell is the Mediterranean mist; all you can see are wild beasts, driven in through the tall doorway, and the fighters coming in from all around the floor. Famous jockeys and gladiators are walking in, and then the excitement of the fight begins.

 

roman amphitheatre

 

The Roman theatre of Alexandria is located in the modern area of Kom El-Dikaa, which is almost in the center of the city of Alexandria, Egypt bordered by Horrya street from the north, Nabi Daniel street from the west, Abdel Moneim street from the south, and Saphia Zaghloul street from the east. Dating from the 2nd century A.D it was a large auditorium, about 42m in diameter. The outer face of this building was probably adorned with columns several stories high. In later times the theatre was rebuilt and its auditorium was diminished to 33.5 m in diameter. It then contained 16 rows of marble seats.

 

roman amphitheatre

 

The last major rebuild was in the 6th century A.D, when the stage was turned into a huge vestibule, joined the auditorium by means of a triple–arcade.

Two marble pedestals and the bases of the columns are preserved still today. The auditorium was lowered to 13 rows of seats, and a dome, which soon fell into ruins, covered it. It is a fascinating place to visit.

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