Roman Amphitheatre or Roman Theatre is located in the central region of Alexandria city at Kom el-Dikka. Bordered by the Horrya Street in the north, Nabi Daniel Street in west, Abdel Moneim Street in south and Saphia Zaghloul Street from the eastern side, Roman Theatre is one of the symbols of Alexandria city.
Located in the heart of Alexandria, Kom el-Dikka is an extensive Roman theatrical and residential complex. It includes the only known Roman amphitheater in Egypt, an impressively well-preserved structure composed of thirteen terraces. This was constructed in the traditional Greek style , with a flat stage in the center on the lowest level, and raised rows that ascend in steps surrounding three-quarters of the stage. The bench-style seats are all carved out of white or gray marble except for the first row, which is of red granite. Visitors can see, if they look very closely, the remnants of Roman numerals chiseled into each row. The oldest part of the theater consisted of approximately sixteen or seventeen rows of seats, allowing for an audience of 700 to 800 people. It was eventually expanded to include exclusive boxes on the highest level for the upper echelons of society.
Basically Amphitheatre means double theatre and were grand and impressive in structure. Usually built in semi-circular shape, Amphitheatre was an open-air theatre with no curtains on the stage.
The Roman Theatre of Egypt is modest in size and most of the part of the structure is in ruined condition but still it is an excellent ancient structure of Roman period of Egypt. The theatre also consists of numerous galleries erected crudely.
These galleries contain rooms for more spectators along with arrangement of 700-800 marble seats around the stage.
The Roman Amphitheatre was discovered in the excavations doing for the site of Paneion or “Park of Pan” in Kom el-Dikkah also known by the name of Hill of Rubble. In the layers of the above the roman street two other archaeological sites were found. These were a Muslim Cemetery and slums.
Dating back from the 2nd century A.D, this Roman theatre had a large auditorium, which measures 42m in diameter. The outer face of the theatre’s building was probably adorned with columns located in several storeys.
However during later times the theatre was rebuilt and the massive auditorium was diminished to 33.5 m in diameter. It then counted 16 rows of marble seats.
Current excavations at the edge of the site have uncovered Roman baths, lecture halls, and a small village, the centerpiece of which is the Villa of the Birds, a large house filled with beautiful mosaics. At the site is a small outdoor exhibition of Pharaonic and Greco-Roman era objects that have been found beneath the waters of the nearby harbor.
HOURS OF OPERATION:
Villa of the Birds: Egyptian: 2 LE
BY TAXI: From within Alexandria, ask for al-masrah al-romani
CONTACT INFO: Phone: (03) 486 5106