3E Cultural Routes

The Amphitheater of Durres

The amphitheater of Durrës was built at the beginning of the century. II, during the reign of Emperor Trajan, who ruled the Roman Empire from 98 to 117 AD. Built according to Roman architecture, the amphitheater has the shape of an elliptical cylinder with a large diameter of 136 m and a height of 20 m. The amphitheater consists of the arena, stairway,
galleries and two landings. The staircase in the west rests on the slope of the hill, while in the east it rises free.
It was separated from the arena by a 2.5 m high parapet, which prevented wild animals from jumping onto the staircase. The parapet was traversed by a series of vaulted passages, through which wild animals were brought into the arena. Three lanes 1.50 m wide divided the 50-row staircase into three sectors.

In the great south-north axis of the ellipse, passed the two main entrances of the amphitheater, which communicated directly with the arena. Through the southern gate, “Porta Triumphalis”, the gladiator parade passed, while through the northern gate, “Porta Libitensis”, named after the goddess of funerals, gladiators, and slaughtered animals were taken out. The amphitheater served to organize gladiatorial spectacles and other activities, such as animal sacrifices or even executions, according to inscriptions and recorded findings.