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About El Jem Amphitheatre

El Jem Amphitheatre is situated inland in eastern Tunisia, about 150km from Hammamet and its international airport. It can be reached by car, train or louage (long haul shared taxis).

El Jem was once a Punic town (Thysdrus) which took Rome’s side in the third Punic war and was therefore awarded the status of a free town. In the third century, it became a Roman colony, and one of the richest towns of Roman Africa.

The amphitheatre, also called the Thysdrus Coliseum was built by the Romans in 238 AD. It is the third largest Roman amphitheatre in the world and the best preserved Roman relic in Africa. It became part of the UNESCO World heritage list in 1979. It could accommodate 30 000 spectators who came here to watch chariot races and gladiator fights.

Remains of the water system and cages where the big cats waited prior to entering the arena can still be seen today. The arena measures 65 meters by 39 and the auditorium is 427 meters in diameter.

The fee for visiting El Jem amphitheatre was 8 Tunisian dinars in 2009. From April to mid-September, the monument is open from 7am to 7pm from Tuesday to Sunday. The rest of the years, the opening hours are 8am to 5.30pm.


El Jem, El Djem, -, Tunisia
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