Colosseum of El Jem

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El Jem, Tunisia

Colosseum of El Jem Reviews

jostravel jostravel
55 reviews
Amazing!!! Dec 01, 2010
I walked from the car park around the outside of El Jem and was in complete awe! Walking down the steps to the entrance was a quick process as I couldn't wait to get in and explore. El Jem is a stunning piece of architecture, and I would say to anyone who visits Tunisia that El Jem is a must - you'll be as amazed as I was :)
The amazing El Jem
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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tj1777 tj1777
369 reviews
The colosseum of El Jem Jan 04, 2010
Unlike many other Roman sights where you will visit the remains of an ancient city there are just one thing in El Jem - the colosseum. This is not a problem at all since the colosseum at El Jem is one of the single most impressive buildings of the entire Roman Empire and well worth a visit. Even if you have been to Rome and seen the Colosseum this colosseum will still impress. The location is great - you can see it from miles away when you are driving to town.

The colosseum was built from 230 till 238 AD. And the late time of construction meant the builders could take advantage of the accumulated knowledge of construction of this sort of buildings. Which meant the colosseum was a first class building from day one. The construction most have required thousands of people working - the stones came in from a quarry at the coast 30 kilometers away while the water was brought in by an underground aqueduct from the hills 15 kilometers northwest of the city. The colosseum is only slightly smaller than the main colosseum in Rome with its 149 by 124 meters it is not much smaller than the main one in Rome which were 188 by 156 meters. When it came to spectator capacity the colosseum in El Jem could house 30.000 spectators at once - compared to 43.000 in Rome.

Shortly after the construction was finished the colosseum laid the ground to its most notable death - the rebellious emperor Gordion had realized his rebellion had no chance of success and he decided to end his life inside the colosseum. Later the bloody fights with beast and gladiators would take over the scene. But one last famous battle came when a Berber princess made her last stand inside the colosseum trying to stop the advancing Arab forces. She was unsuccessful and the Arabs came to rule Tunisia.

You can see the colosseum walls from the outside and you actually get the best chance of catching a photo off the whole building from outside the museum grounds. But you will miss out if you don’t go in and wonder the old walls and seats inside the colosseum. You can wonder through the old undergrounds tunnels from where the animals used to enter the arena before the fights. Or you can try to get to the top and get a completely different perspective of the building.
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krisz2205 says:
This is amazing! I majored in Classical Archaeology in college so I want to see all the Roman and Greek sights! I studied in Italy but this just looks awesome! Great review!
Posted on: Mar 12, 2010
tj1777 says:
Yup it is worth going - even if you already been to Rome.
Posted on: Mar 10, 2010
Africancrab says:
This is incredible, awesome review. Something I should like to see.
Posted on: Mar 10, 2010

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