5 most impressive stadiums built in antiquity


Stadiums are one of the most important elements of sport today. Because in order for a sports organization to be carried out properly, first of all, a suitable environment is needed. On the other hand, modern stadiums are places where modern technological developments are embodied. Many high-tech stadiums can accommodate thousands of people at the same time, allowing for crowded gatherings in fields ranging from sports to entertainment. Yes, modern stadiums have features that captivate those who look at them from different angles. However, when it comes to “impressive stadiums”, it is useful to look back a little more to ancient times!

Stadiums were extremely important places for people living in ancient times. Because the ancient stadiums were not just structures that housed various sports organizations. The people of antiquity sometimes went out to the stadiums to witness the struggle of the strongest warriors of society for survival, sometimes to watch the fierce rivalry that continued both on and off the field, and sometimes to honor the gods. For these reasons, ancient stadiums were among the most important structures of social life with extremely interesting features. Here are 5 of the most impressive stadiums built in antiquity, from Pompeii’s amphitheater to Rome’s Colosseum…

1. Pompeii Amphitheater

Pompeii, one of the most magnificent cities of antiquity, was also the center of very interesting entertainments, sports and gladiator fights. Naturally, the stadium that hosted these important events had to be as magnificent as the city itself. Therefore, before it was destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius, the Pompeian amphitheater was certainly filled with numerous themed frescoes depicting bloody gladiatorial fights. In addition, the stadium’s staircases are built in a style not seen in ancient times.

2. Roman Colosseum


Only such a magnificent stadium as the Roman Colosseum would be suitable for the center of the Roman Empire, one of the most important states of antiquity! So much so that the Colosseum was built in AD 80 on the ruined palace of the former emperor Nero. Limestone, tuff, brick and concrete were used in its construction.

The magnificent stadium of the majestic empire accommodated 80,000 spectators at the same time and was the venue for chariot races, gladiator fights, mass executions and theatrical performances. However, the magnificent construction of the stadium also allowed thousands of people to enter and exit at the same time without problems. Moreover, the building, which was built as a living space and not a stadium, also had many shops and stalls.

3. Delphi Stadium

One of the most important stadiums of Ancient Greece, Delphi was built to see the highest point of the archaeological site at Delphi and the site of Apollo, which was considered sacred at the time.

It housed 12 stands, each of which was separated by a staircase. In addition, the oldest examples of the “protocol tribune” appeared at the Delphi stadium, which can be found in almost all today’s stadiums. The stadium had seating specially built for the elite of ancient Greece.

However, the most striking features of the stadium are not a connection with a sacred place and not protocol stands that arose thousands of years ago. In addition to all this, the stadium “Delphi” is a building in which a very “progressive” idea for antiquity was born and a rare practice was implemented. Because in Delphi women were allowed to play sports with men and participate in competitions.

4. Circus Maximus


Chariot racing was the most popular sport in the Roman Empire. Circus Maximus, on the other hand, was no different from the scene of the most important competitions in this dangerous sport. Built in the valley between the Roman hills Aventine and Palatine, the stadium was 600 meters long and 80 meters wide. At the same time, more than 200,000 Roman citizens could follow the races in the stadium from their seats.

In the center of the stadium there was a long structure called “back”, which was built in a rectangular shape. There were many monuments and statues on the building, symbolizing the power and dominance of the Roman Empire.

5. Panathinaiko Stadium


The Panathinaiko Stadium, one of the most important buildings of antiquity, was first built in 330 BC. However, with expansion work around 140 AD. its capacity was increased to 50,000 people and it was completely rebuilt with white marble. Even today, Panathinaiko Stadium is the only stadium built entirely of white marble.

However, the stadium in Athens, the capital of Greece, is of great importance not only for antiquity, but also for the present. Because in 1896, various sports events were held here, organized with the participation of more than one nation, namely the first modern Olympic Games.

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