Built during the rule of Hadrian in the 2nd century, fourteen teirs of marble blocks provided seating for up to 30 000 spectators. One of the tunnels through which the competitors entered the stadium is visible today.
The stadium would have held Pythian games, featuring chariot races, athletic events and poetry contests. Contestants would have competed in two categories: men and boys. Coins were minted in Philipoppolis showing the ruling Roman emperor and athletic events from the games. Some historians believe it was also used for gladiator battles, though there is no proof that they took place here. An 'advertising stone' has been found announcing a gladiator battle in the city but with no information about the location.
The modern visitor centre features an information centre and a 3D cinema where you can see a reconstruction of the stadium. A new lift allows access for the disabled and modern glass railings mean that the view can be fully enjoyed, Check out the website, which has a wealth of useful info.
There's a cafe on the terrace looking straight at the steps of the stadium.
Screenings every 40 minutes from 10:00-17:00