Amphitheater, Trier

Amphitheater, Trier (must see)

The Trier Amphitheater was erected around the 2nd century AD during the rule of Antoninus Pius. Dug into the side of a hill, the amphitheater is thought to have held up to 20,000 spectators at a time, which makes it the 10th largest Roman arena preserved intact to this day.

The amphitheater was incorporated into the city's fortification system, the defensive wall, serving partially as a gate. Preceding the entrance were two narrow passages, called vomitoria, which led through the embankments to the spectator stands. Contrary to what one may think, a vomitorium wasn’t a place for vomiting but an anteroom in which the crowds gathered prior to being “vomited” into the stands or back out to go home.

In times of crisis, hot oil and wild animals were unleashed from the amphitheater upon those who dared to attack the city.

The primary purpose of the venue, however, was entertainment: animal shows and gladiatorial fights. Both animals and fighters were kept in the cellar beneath the arena. The amphitheater was renovated in 293 AD, when Constantius Chlorus moved to Trier, which is thought to be the timeframe in which the cellar was added. A small burial ground, containing the graves of 46 people, was discovered in 1996.

Today, the amphitheater is used as a performance venue, hosting antiquity festivals and staged gladiator shows. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Trier. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Amphitheater on Map

Sight Name: Amphitheater
Sight Location: Trier, Germany (See walking tours in Trier)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Trier, Germany

Create Your Own Walk in Trier

Create Your Own Walk in Trier

Creating your own self-guided walk in Trier is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Trier's Roman Ruins Walking Tour

Trier's Roman Ruins Walking Tour

Nowadays it sounds a bit weird that a small German town of Trier, some 20-minute drive from the Luxembourg border, was once the capital of the mighty Western Roman Empire. Still, "the second Rome", as the emperor Diocletian used to call it, today fully lives up to its former status.

Founded in 15 BC by the Roman emperor Octavian Augustus, this oldest city in Germany is a home to the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles
In The Footsteps of Karl Marx

In The Footsteps of Karl Marx

Apart from being a home to the largest number of Roman ruins outside Rome, Trier is also extremely popular with international tourists, especially those from China, as the hometown of Karl Marx.

Here, the father of socialism and one of the most important philosophers of the 19th century, who, as an adult, managed to change the course of the world's history, had spent the first 17 years of...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Trier Introduction Walking Tour

Trier Introduction Walking Tour

Trier is Germany’s oldest city and features beautiful Roman ruins, impressive medieval architecture, stunning churches, and fascinating museums.

While an inscription on the famous Red House states that the city was founded 1300 years before the Romans arrived, this has never been proven. The Celtics originally founded Trier during the fourth century BC. The Romans arrived in the first century...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles