Monday , November 20 2017
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El Djem Amphitheatre, Tunisia

El Djem, Tunisia

Roman Amphitheatre:

Each week, I will post a photograph as part of a challenge from the Daily Post – you are invited to participate. This week, the challenge is entitled, Wanderlust.

Please show me your interpretation of the subject by adding a comment, with a link to your Website post, Facebook photo, Flickr image, etc.

This week, share a photo that represents travel to you. Whether you’re crossing borders or visiting a nearby neighborhood for the first time, we would love to see how you capture these new environments and interactions!

Historic Tunisia

For this weeks challenge, I have delved into my archive to bring you the amazing El Djem Roman Amphitheatre from Tunisia.

Amphitheatre of El Jem is an oval amphitheatre in the city of El Djem, Tunisia. It is listed by UNESCO since 1979 as a World Heritage Site.

The amphitheatre was built around 238 AD, when the modern Tunisia belonged to the Roman province of Africa, in the city of Thysdrus, currently a suburb of El Djem. It is one of the best preserved Roman ruins in the world, and is unique in Africa. As other amphitheatres in the Roman Empire, it was built for spectator events, and it is one of the biggest amphitheatres in the world. The estimated capacity is 35,000, and the sizes of the big and the small axes are respectively 148 metres (486 ft) and 122 metres (400 ft). The amphitheatre is built of stone blocks, located on a flat ground, and is exceptionally well conserved.

The amphitheatre of El Djem is the third amphitheatre built on the same place. The belief is that it was constructed by the local proconsul Gordian, who became the emperor as Gordian III. In the Middle Ages, it served as a fortress, and the population sought here shelter during the attacks of Vandals in 430 and Arabs in 647. In 1695, during the Revolutions of Tunis, Mohamed Bey El Mouradi made an opening in one of the walls to stop the resistance of the followers of his brother Ali Bey al-Muradi who gathered inside the amphitheatre.

It is believed that the amphitheatre was used as a salpetre manufacture in the end of the 18th and in the 19th century. Around 1850, the breach in the wall was enlarged by Ahmad I ibn Mustafa to approximately 30 metres (98 ft). In the second half of the 19th century, the structure was used for shops, dwellings, and grain storage. It was featured in films such as Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Gladiator.

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