Ancient Laodicean Theater in Türkiye hosts its first performance after 1690 years

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.