Ancient Gitana

Ancient Gitana

The powerful capital of the ancient Thesprotians was constructed in the 4th century BC on the banks of the Kalama (or Thyamis) River. Ancient Gitana was built on the south-western part of the Vrysella hillock, in the Municipality of Filiates and is beyond any doubt the most significant settlement in Thesprotia during the late Classical and Hellenistic period.

The voices of actors, the dulcet sound of the aulos, feet tapping, mellifluous voices rising in hymn, those were the sounds that would commonly fill the Theatre of Gitana.

Gitana was built on a site offering exceptional advantages, both defensive and commercial. The river Thyamis bordered the city on three sides, offered protection and, being navigable at the time, ensuring easy access to the sea. The mountainous range of  Vrisella on its fourth side completed its defenses.

And yet, fierce pro-Roman voices must have also rang out in assemblies, provoking rallying cries of enmity from citizens who did not want to succumb to the advancing Roman army without a fight.”

The dangers of the time however demaned fortifications. The walls of Gitana enclosed a well built city, designed a ccoding to the Hippodamian Plan (the grid plan named after the ancient Greek architect

Restoration work is still being carried out on the theater. One of its most important elements is the way in which the walls were constructed; polygonal stones were used, so that these would interlock.