Amphitheater El Djem is a UNESCO heritage site located in a small town of El Djem (originally called Thysdrus in ancient times) in central Tunisia, North Africa. This Tunisian town is known to be home to the most impressive Roman remains in the whole of Africa. It is about 3 hours from Tunis, the capital and largest city of Tunisia. It is undoubtedly the most impressive Roman monument in Africa and it was the gladiatorial arena of Tunisia. Tunisia was the Roman Province of Africa. It is a symbol of Roman power and the prosperity of the ancient town of Thysdrus, now called El Djem. This amphitheater is a massive historical monument that appears outstanding from the houses around its base. It was used for entertainment in the days of ancient Roman Empire. This Amphitheater was initially managed by the Romans.
It is the 3rd largest Amphitheater in the world. it was built around 238AD when the modern Tunisia belonged to the Roman province of Africa. Though an ancient architectural master piece, its originality is still preserved. It was built predominantly from stone blocks with a capacity of 35,000 spectators at a time. Its larger axis measures about 148m while the smaller axis measure 122m with underground tunnels. Walking through this tunnels in this ancient amphitheater, you can imagine the gladiators and the lions going through to take part in one of the ancient customs of the Roman Empire which was gladiatorial combat that was considered to be a blood sport in the ancient empire.
A gladiator which means swords man in Latin, was an armed combatant who entertained audience in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire in violent confrontations with other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals.The gladiator games lasted nearly a 1000 years. The theater is therefore famous for its role in the making of the Hollywood epic movie “Gladiator“.
So if you are a fan of movies like Gladiator and Spartacus, i think you would so much wish you could be here and feel the reality, as the images in these movies will be conjured and flashing before you. If you enjoy reading about and seeing ancient places, then this is for you.
It remains an important landmark in the narrative of the history of the Roman African.
I can confidently tell you that being here inoculates you with an amazing experience that captures your photography reflex to take photograph of every corner and everything that offers a great view.
If you are in Tunisia, and you miss this monument, your trip is then incomplete because when you are here, you can really feel that you were actually part of history.
P.S: IMAGES NOT OURS UNLESS STATED.
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Written by Samuel Agboma.