El Djem, Tunisia
Amphitheater El Djem Reviews
Ave Caesar, morituri te salutant! Jul 05, 2016
In Mahdia governorate there is a town El Jem, famous for its great amphiteater. The amphitheater was built during the first half of the 3rd century AD and was the second biggest amphitheater in the Roman Empire. It is oval in shape, built entirely of stone blocks, with a capacity between 27,000 and 30,000 spectators, hungry for " panem et circenses". By its size the amphitheatre dominates the town. It consists of three levels of arcades, the wall of the podium, the arena and the underground passages, which are practically intact.
This surviving constructure is protected as a historic monuments and serves as a tourist attraction. In 1979 it was inscripted in the UNESCO World Heritage List. During the Roman rule there was even a huge production of mosaics and ceramics, exported mainly to Rome. Some examples can be seen in the Archeological Museum of El Jem, that is housed in one of the coutry's best-preserved Roman villas. There is presented a big collection of mosaics, ceramics and statues also from the other Roman villas in the area.
The magnificent amphiteatre is located in the central area of El Djem and is easy reachable both from the louage station and the railway station on the other side of the town. There is a good railway connection between Tunis, Sousse on the north or Sfax on the south, as well the road connection by the highway A1 Tunis-Sfax.
This imposing structure has an outstanding acoustics. Since 1985 every summer here is held the international festival of symphonic music. This summer there have performed the Symphonic Orchestra and Choir of Radio Ukraine and solists of the Ukraine National Opera, The Vienna Opera Ball Orchestra, solists such as Melinda Doolittle and others. Concerts are held under candlelight.
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The Amphitheater of El Djem Oct 29, 2012
Wow! In one word amazing! I've never been to the Amphitheater in Rome but did see one in Trier, though much smaller.
The Amphitheater of El Djem, the city where it is located, is one of the biggest in the world. Only the one in Rome and the one in Capura (I googled for that information ;-) ) are bigger.
The Amphitheater of El Djem (in the Roman time El Djem was called the city of Thysdrus) was build in the year, 238. There was already a Amphitheater in the city of Thysdrus but the people didn't think it was quit big enough, and as they were verey prosperous they just thougt, let's build a new and bigger one!
The Amphitheater could fit 35.000 people and has a surface of 147.9 m by 122 m. The arena is about 64.5m by 38.3 m. So yeah, quit big :-). Beneath the arena there are 2 tunnels. Hatches in the floor made it possible to bring wild annimals and gladiators in to the arena.
The movie: The Gladiator, was partly filmed in the Amphitheater of El Djem, lucky Russel!
So, now my opinion. The Amphitheater is so well preserved!! there are some little bits who are destroyed but most of it is still there as it was way back when. There are bearly any restrictions so you can see the whole thing! I just love that! There are about 6 to 8 stairs you can climb. And from the top you have a lovely view over the Amphitheater and the city of El Djem.
I so recommend this place! So worth a visit. As I said before, I have never been to the one ine Rome but I do hear and read that there are restrictions. This one has none (well maybe a couple like not being able to go into a well. But o well, I don't wanna die yet, so I don't mind ;-) ).
You can see everything. Go into the tunnels or up the stairs it's just wonderfull. I could probably go on all day about this wonderfull sight but I just can not discrabe it (espacially in my English :-), no one would understand. It's just amazing and you should see it for yourself!
The Amphitheater was declared a world heratage side in 1979.
Part of the Tunisia 2012 travel blog