The price includes an extra 5 EUR charge for the guide. Free access for kids upto 11 years old and patrons.
Groups to qualify for reduced fee tickets (only EU citizens). Supporting document in force will be requested:
- Minors aged between 12 and 17
- Youth card holders
- Student card holders (under 25)
- Visitors over 65 and/or pensioners
- Large families
The Roman Theatre is the most representative element of the Monumental Ensemble of Mérida. It was inaugurated between 16-15 B.C. and the consul Marcus Agrippa was the promoter of its construction.
For centuries it remained buried, remaining visible only the top of the bleachers that made up seven large blocks popularly known as the Seven Chairs.
The bleachers –cavea-, with a capacity for 6,000 spectators, was built, in part, using the slope of the hill of San Albín. It is divided into three sectors ima, media and summa cavea. The orchestra -in which the chorus was placed- is surrounded by three tiers of honor reserved for the authorities.
The most spectacular theater area is the front of the scene, with two marble columns. Among them, a number of sculptures completed the decoration: Ceres, Pluto, Proserpina and statues, some with togas and some with breastplates, which have been interpreted as imperial portraits.
At the background, aligned with the central door of the scene, we find a small room, dedicated as is clear from the findings made there, among others the veiled head of Augustus, to the imperial cult.
It was opened in the year 8 B.C. Gladiatorial games and fights between animals or between men and animals -venationes- were held here. The bleachers, divided into three sectors, ima, media and summa cavea were built, in part, on the same hill as the theater. At the end of the minor axis of the building two stands were built. The one at the West would be reserved to the authorities and the one at the East to the person who financed the show.
The arena, with elliptical shape, was the area where the show would take place. In its center a large pit, on which numerous opinions have been poured, was dug. It is thought it was probably covered with parquet and served to store inside the cages of wild beasts and scenic material.
Two long galleries allowed access to the stands and the entry of the gladiators to the arena. On both sides rooms can be found, possibly for use of the gladiators, although some researchers consider them reserved for wild animals and even one of them could have been a place of worship dedicated to Nemesis, protector goddess of the gladiators.