This list of famous Roman amphitheatres only includes full round structures, and does not include semicircular Roman theatres. The ancient Romans built them all over their empire. Approximately 230 Roman amphitheaters are found all over the area of former Roman influence. The amphitheaters were used for various events such as gladiator fights, chariot races, executions and more. It is amazing that some of them are still used today for concerts, operas, bullfights and other events — some 2,000 years after they were built.
Without a doubt, the Colosseum is the most famous and important Roman amphitheatre. The beautiful monument is among the most prominent sights in Europe and among the most visited monuments in Rome. The Colosseum is the largest amphitheater of the Roman Empire, an outstanding achievement of architecture and engineering science of those times. The largest theater in the world could seat 50,000 to 80,000 spectators. Built in 70–80 AD. The Colosseum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Amphitheater in Arles
Built in 90 AD. BC, this amphitheater in southern France could accommodate 20,000 spectators. It was built for chariot racing and all sorts of battles. The amphitheater in Arles is still used today for concerts and bullfights during the summer.
Arena in Nimes
This Roman amphitheater was built in 70 AD. e. The Arena in Nimes was reconstructed in 1863 and today it is fully used for all kinds of events, accommodating more than 16,000 spectators.
Amphitheater of Verona
The Amphitheater of Verona is a very well-preserved arena, also built in the first century AD. e.. It is still used for opera concerts and performances.
Built between 27 and 68 AD. e., the Arena of Pula is among the six largest Roman amphitheaters in the world that have survived to this day. This is the best preserved historical monument in Croatia, one of the main attractions of the country.
El Jem in Tunisia
This beautiful Roman structure was built in the 3rd century AD. e. in the city of Thysdrus. At that time it was one of the main Roman cities in Berber Africa.
Amphitheater of Pompeii, Italy
The amphitheater of Pompeii was built around 80 BC, being the oldest surviving Roman structure of its kind. It is also the earliest Roman amphitheater to be built of stone (the other being the Colosseum, built more than a century later). Like much of Pompeii, the amphitheater was buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Amphitheater of Tarragona
Built in the second century AD. BC, this Roman amphitheater in Catalonia overlooks the Mediterranean and could accommodate up to 15,000 spectators. The arena was used for many purposes over the years, including a prison during the 18th century.
Arena in Avenches
Built in 130 AD e. and expanded in 165, this amphitheater in the ancient Roman city of Aventicum (near the modern city of Avenches) was used for gladiator fights, animal fights, hunting, and political, social, and religious purposes. The amphitheater could accommodate up to 16,000 people.
Ancient theater in Durres
This large Roman amphitheater was built in the 2nd century AD. e. and could once accommodate up to 20,000 spectators. It was partially excavated in the 20th century, while most of it remains underground to this day. Unlike many previously mentioned amphitheatres, the Durrës Amphitheater is only used as a tourist attraction and not for social events.