The excavations of the Roman Theater in Turin can only be viewed during a visit to the Museum of Antiquities. The ruins are what is left of the ancient Roman city of Augusta Taurinorum. In its heyday, the theater could accommodate around 3,000 spectators. Nowadays, it is located below the Royal Palace, of which it occupies part of the cellars.
Construction of the Roman Theater of Turin started in 13 BC. Initially, the entire complex (stage, seats and surrounding fence) was made of wood. Between 40 and 50 AD, a stone portico was added, and by the end of the century the entire structure was made of stone.
With the arrival of Christianity came a ban on theatrical performances and the complex was abandoned. At the end of the 4th century, it was replaced by a Cathedral.
In 1899, when a new wing was added to the Royal Palace, some ancient walls of the by then completely forgotten theater were discovered. It was decided to change the project, so as to be able to preserve the ruins of the monument.
The first period of restoration finished in 1911. Between 1960 and 1962 more excavations took place. From these, it became clear that there had been two pahases of construction. The extensive excavations led to a further restoration of aisles, porticoes and walls.
Besides the ruins of the complex itself, the archaeologists also found an ancient road, that separated the theater from the surrounding houses. Part of the excavations stretches to almost the present Cathedral. From there it is also possible to view parts of the ancient structure.
The semi-circular theater consisted of four sectors, separated by staircases. Its diameter was 70 meters. The stage itself was 44 meters long and 6 meters deep.References:
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