The Ancient Stadium of Philippopolis

The realisation of the project for rehabilitation of the Ancient Stadium of Philippopolis is the first step of the overall strategy of the Plovdiv Masterplan (2007). The latter proposes a stage-by-stage development of a system of spaces to provide integral display of urban archaeology in combination with public functions.

The work on the Ancient Stadium project began in 2008 and the preliminary intentions develop following the parallel archaeological research in 2010. Situated beneath the main pedestrian street of the city, with a single fragment on display at the Dzhumaya Square, the stadium (a facility that could seat around 30 000 spectators in the distant past) had been long inaccessible and unknown.

The project aims at: conservation and entire expression of the cultural value of the Stadium; providing its vitality with attractive functions; and providing accessibility for disabled people. The existing concrete frames closing the stadium were removed, and it was widely opened to the public through new geometry of the openings, contemporary urban design, landscaping, artistic illumination, and visual communication.

After the inauguration of the reconstructed site, the place has again become an important part of the city life where various cultural activities take place. A new green piazza to from the north of the exposed section of the fortification wall has been realised. The inclined urban space provides physical access to the ruins of the fortification system. At the same time, it clearly shows that this space was outside the walls of the ancient city, and creates an unique atmosphere for cultural events.

  • Authors:
    Todor Krestev, Donika Georgieva, Miroslav Velkov, Vera Kolarova (preliminary design)
  • Year: 2008-2012
  • Client: Regional Administration Plovdiv, Municipality of Plovdiv
  • Status: completed
  • Status:
    Building of the Year 2014 – Public's Choice Award, Special Award in Cultural Monuments Buildings category.
  • More Info:
    The project is realised with the financial help of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area, 2009-2012.
  • Website: