The day of Nicopolis ad Istrum is the 18th of September, however, the city hall in Nikyup near Veliko Tarnovo chose September 14 as a holiday date for this year because it is a day off.
September 18 is the probable creation date of the Roman city and the probable date of Emperor Traian’s birthday. The streets of the Roman city intersect at an angle of 90 degrees, but their deviation of 4 degrees and 30 minutes shows that by 101 AD, the autumn solstice was on September 18th. The solstice date is known to change. On the likely date of foundation of the city, the City Hall of Nikyup and the Regional Museum of History are organizing a festival “Board Games – From Antiquity to Today.”
One of the organizers says that while they cannot make the celebrations with the scale of the tournaments made in ancient times, they can at least create a fun occasion for a glass of wine and ancient and modern board games. Visitors will be able to get acquainted with the rules, as well as play, the famous Royal Game of Ur, discovered in the tomb of a ruler from the Middle East and dating back nearly 3 millennia BC.
The board and the pools are currently stored in the British Museum. There is also a clay tile dating from 177 BC, which contains the only direct evidence of the existence of the Royal Game of Ur and the rules by which it goes. This game is thought to be the earliest precursor to dice and board games and can be compared to the modern games “Ludo” and backgammon. Thus, the principles of the Royal Game have been preserved for over 5 millennia. At Nicopolis ad Istrum, visitors will be able to see a copy of the ancient Royal Game of Ur and have fun with it just like the ancient ones! Many tournaments are planned as well – Ludo, chess, backgammon, dominoes and more.
All of the festivals and events that have been hosted at Nicopolis ad Istrum are aimed at promoting the Roman city near Veliko Tarnovo.