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Fodor's Washington, D.C. 2014
Kom al-Dikka (Roman Theater)
Kom al-Dikka (Roman Theater) Review
The focal point of this excavated section of the ancient city is a well-preserved amphitheater—the only one of its kind in Egypt—originally constructed in the 4th century AD, then rebuilt in the 6th century, following an earthquake. At that time a large dome was added (only its supporting columns still stand), and the theater went from being a cultural venue to a forum for public meetings of the City Council—a change deduced from ancient graffiti promoting various political parties.
The other half of the site is the ancient baths and living quarters, although much of this area is, in fact, best seen through the fence from the side near Pastroudis Café, where the cisterns and walls are clearly visible. The red bricks mark the location of the heated baths—warmed by an elaborate underground system—which complemented the adjacent cold and steam baths. The whole area fell into disuse after the 7th-century Persian conquest of Egypt. One noteworthy site in the residential section is a Roman house known as the Villa of the Birds, so named for its colorful floor mosaics depicting birds in several forms. The colorful and detailed craftsmanship shows a high level of sophistication. The mosaics, now restored, are protected by a modern structure.
- Address: Off Maydan El Shohada, opposite the Misr train station, Kon al-Dikka, Alexandria, 21131
- Phone: 03/490–2904
- Cost: E20, E15 for Villa of the Birds
- Hours: Daily 9–4:30
- Location: Downtown and Raml Station
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