The late-classicism style church was designed by M. Schons, chief architect of the Livonian Province. The master carpenter was Johann Karl Otto, a resident of Võru. The church was completed in 1804 and named the Greatmartyr Catherine’s Church in honour of Catherine II. The building has a simple rectangular ground planning, a sturdy western spire, a cupola-like ridge roof on the high tambour and arched windows in sham niches.
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.