Eljem Travel Guide
Eljem is 205 km from Tunis, 60 km from Sousse and 64 km from Sfax. The main shopping items in Eljem are carpets, jewellery, antiques at the Soussi Brothers shops, near the Colisseum.
El Jem was no doubt a thriving Roman agricultural region producing both olive oil and wheat and the grandiose colosseum, second only in size to that of Rome itself, attests to its wealth.
Arriving at this small city from Sousse or Sfax, the sight of this amphitheater rising in the distance like a Colossus is both wondrous and slightly strange as the present surroundings give no hint of its former importance.
Built around the year 200, it was the scene of those games and circuses, often cruel and bloody, provided by ancient Rome.
Today, the cries of martyrs and beasts have been replaced by the haunting strains of a concerto or the precise beauty of a fugue as world famous orchestras and artists perform at the classical music festival held at the colosseum each summer.
El Jem has opened workshops where artists are re-discovering the art of mosaics and their creations are truly worthy of this site and its history. You can compare these artworks with those in the museum by the colosseum.
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