Circus Maximus is a spectacular ancient stadium for chariot races, which could have accommodate up to 150,000 people enjoying the festivals, ceremonies and games taking place there. For over a millennium, some of the most famous chariot races were held in this stadium. For over a millennium, some of the most famous chariot races were held in this stadium. Rome spared no expense in this area, and the wealth of the empire was displayed to everyone. The events were lavish and continued from the rise of the sun to the setting every day. Processions and gladiator combats were other popular events to be held in the Circus Maximus, but the main event every day was the exciting chariot races.
Located in the valley between the Palatine Hill and Aventine Hill, this was the largest stadium in Rome ever built. Measuring an incredible 118 m (387 ft) in width and 621 m (2,037 ft) in length, it was phenomenal, and has been expanded several times over the years. The Circus Maximus had to be rebuilt several times over the years due to fire, and every time something new was added to the design.
One of the largest fires to destroy the stadium was in AD 64 and resulted in much of Rome being burnt during the reign of Emperor Nero. Although there was massive damage, the stadium was restored, and continued to entertain the masses. After the decline of the empire in the 5th century, Circus Maximus was left to fell to ruin, and many of the beautiful marble stones were taken to build other structures.
Two large obelisks were part of the stadium as decorations, and thankfully they were not completely destroyed. Both were repaired by Pope Sixtus V, one was relocated in Piazza del Popolo and the other one was relocated in Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano. During the nineteenth century, some excavations were conducted, and today it is a public park and continues to be enjoyed by many people.
Meetings and concerts are held there including some significant events, which results in people from all over the world traveling to this part of Rome. When you visit Circus Maximus today, you will be overwhelmed by the sheer scale.
Circus Maximus: commons.wikimedia.org
Address Via del Circo Massimo, 00186 Rome, Italy
Opening hours Open 24h.
Public transportation Buses