Facts and Data

Official Unesco Page

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 1979
Size of heritage: 1.37 ha
- Buffer zone: 26 ha

Longitude: 10,707°
Latitude: 35,296°


The impressive ruins of the largest colosseum in North Africa, a huge amphitheatre which could hold up to 35,000 spectators, are found in the small village of El Jem. This 3rd-century monument illustrates the grandeur and extent of Imperial Rome.

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Amphitheatre of El Jem: A Glimpse into Ancient Roman Splendor

The Amphitheatre of El Jem, located in the town of El Jem in Tunisia, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that stands as a testament to the grandeur and architectural prowess of the ancient Roman Empire. This magnificent amphitheater, also known as the Thysdrus Amphitheatre, is one of the most well-preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world and is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and travelers alike.


The construction of the Amphitheatre of El Jem began in the 3rd century AD during the reign of Emperor Gordian, and it was completed in the early 4th century AD. The amphitheater was primarily used for gladiatorial contests, chariot races, and other public spectacles that entertained the citizens of the ancient city of Thysdrus, which was a prosperous Roman colony.

With a seating capacity of approximately 35,000 spectators, the Amphitheatre of El Jem was one of the largest amphitheaters in the Roman Empire. Its elliptical shape, towering walls, and intricate architectural details showcase the engineering brilliance of the Romans. The amphitheater was constructed using local limestone, and its impressive facade, adorned with decorative elements, reflects the opulence and grandeur of the time.

Over the centuries, the Amphitheatre of El Jem witnessed various historical events and transformations. With the decline of the Roman Empire, the amphitheater fell into disuse and was gradually abandoned. It was later converted into a fortress during the Byzantine period and served as a refuge during conflicts. In the 17th century, the structure was severely damaged by a series of earthquakes, which led to the collapse of a significant portion of the outer wall.

Current State

Despite the passage of time and the challenges it has faced, the Amphitheatre of El Jem remains an awe-inspiring architectural marvel. Today, it stands as a symbol of Tunisia's rich historical heritage and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

The amphitheater underwent extensive restoration efforts in the 20th century to preserve its structural integrity and showcase its historical significance. The remaining sections of the outer wall were reinforced, and the seating area was partially reconstructed to give visitors a glimpse into the amphitheater's original splendor.

Visiting the Amphitheatre of El Jem is a truly immersive experience. As you step into the arena, you can almost hear the echoes of the roaring crowds and the clash of gladiatorial combat. The underground chambers, where gladiators and wild animals were held, provide a fascinating insight into the life and spectacle of ancient Roman entertainment.

Today, the Amphitheatre of El Jem serves as a venue for cultural events, including concerts and theatrical performances. The annual International Symphonic Music Festival held within its walls attracts renowned musicians from around the world, further enhancing the site's cultural significance.

The Amphitheatre of El Jem stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Roman Empire and the remarkable architectural achievements of the past. Its inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage list ensures its preservation for future generations, allowing visitors to step back in time and marvel at the grandeur of ancient Rome.

Videos from the area

Koloseum w El Jem

Published: August 06, 2009
Length: 01:41 min
Rating: 5 of 5
Author: Ryszard Kasza

El Jem to małe, obecnie nieco senne miasteczko pomiędzy Monastirem a Sfax. Niegdyś, w czasach rzymskich było centrum kwitnącego regionu rolniczego, produkującym na wielką skalę oliwę...

El Jem Amphitheater, Tunisia エルジェムの円形闘技場(チュニジア)

Published: December 30, 2008
Length: 23:18 min
Rating: 4 of 5
Author: daichikobe

Amphitheater of El Jem, Tunisia. チュニジアのエルジェムにある、世界遺産「エルジェムの円形闘技場」です。

El Jem Amfiteatr Tunezja by seamoon

Published: January 24, 2009
Length: 18:30 min
Rating: 0 of 5
Author: Piotr Giłko - fotografia

Amfiteatr w El Jem. Więcej na stronie: http://www.seamoon.pl/galeria/el-jem-amfiteatr-romanski.

L'espoir roule Poème de Nicole Coppey, Musique Daniel Nolé tourné à l'amphithéâtre d'El Jem

Published: March 24, 2014
Length: 12:06 min
Rating: 0 of 5
Author: Nicole Coppey

Poème de Nicole Coppey tiré du recueil "Méditations profondes" Musique et interprétation musicale de Daniel Nolé Oeuvre faisant partie du récital visuel musi...

L'espoir roule Poème de Nicole Coppey, Musique Daniel Nolé, tourné à l'amphithéâtre Thysdrus

Published: March 24, 2014
Length: 41:13 min
Rating: 0 of 5
Author: Nicole Coppey

Poème de Nicole Coppey tiré du recueil "Méditations profondes" Musique et interprétation musicale de Daniel Nolé Oeuvre faisant partie du récital visuel musi...

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