Roman Theatre of Sagunto – Sagunt, Spain - Atlas Obscura
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Roman Theatre of Sagunto

This ancient amphitheater was restored in the early 1990s.  

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Until it was restored in 1994, this first century Roman theatre in Spain was a magnificent ruin visible on the hillside from a long distance. Though the restoration has made it functional once again, it has covered up much of this historic structure. 

The theatre was originally built on a hillside, making use of the natural topography. It sits just below the much later Sagunto Castle, which dominates the landscape and is adjacent to a medieval Jewish cemetery.

It has a typical semi-circular theatre shape, with many of the terraces having been covered with new, smooth stone flags. A large, dominating rectangular structure now covers the stage area. The ends of the terraces have been left unrestored and through these it is possible to get an impression of what the site was like before the restoration and even how it looked before much of the stonework was destroyed during the Peninsula Wars.

The restoration has clearly been done to make the theatre comfortable for audiences to watch performances and for performances to be presented effectively but this has possibly detracted from its value as a historical site and certainly detracted from the distant views. The upside of this restoration comes when one attends a performance. The opportunity to watch a performance in a 1,900-year-old theatre is really something.

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