El Jem was formerly the Roman town of Thysdrus, one of the most important towns in North Africa after Carthage.
The Coliseum of El Jem is 148 m long, 122 wide and 36 m high and has been used for 2 centuries. Underneath the arena run two passageways. This was the place where animals, prisoners and gladiators were kept. Its capacity of 35000 spectators and its imposing size unquestionably ranks it among the largest amphitheatres in the world. This building dating from the third century, illustrates the greatness of the Roman Empire.
The colosseum is great, almost as big as the one of Rome, and in better condition.
the amphitheatre was declared a World Heritage UNESCO in 1979.
More recently it has been used for filming some of the scenes from the films «Life of Brian and Gladiator».
Located about 176 km south of Tunis.
From Sousse for about 3h and from Mahdia 30min along a good highway.
The closest airport in Tunisia is Monastir Habib Bourguiba International Airport in a distance of 51 km.