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Circus Maximus

Visit the First & Largest Chariot Racing Stadium in Ancient Rome
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About Circus Maximus

The largest entertainment structure constructed in the 6th century BC, Circus Maximus is a famous chariot racing stadium in Rome, Italy. Although most of this stadium has been destroyed due to negligence of successive regimes and open fire, it is still considered a prominent historic site in Via Del Circo Massimo. Circus Maximus is surrounded by a vast green land that has been transformed into a mesmerising garden which will leave you awestruck with its immaculate beauty. If you love to unfold the pages of ancient times, it is an incredible place to look at ruins that take you back in time. During excavation, several artefacts and mini statues were found here which belong to the bygone era. Presently, Circus Maximus is a popular city park and is an absolute delight to the eyes, especially for photography learners and nature lovers to find peace around greenery.

Explore Circus Maximus

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The Track

The two most famous shrines dedicated to lord Consus and Murcia were constructed at the end of the track near the turn. Both these holy places were founded by Romulus. Later, locals started to celebrate the Consualia festival in the honour of lord Consus and Murcia. It was one way through to bring all Sabine neighbours under one hood which includes activities like drinking and horse-racing. As per the Roman traditions, these shrines were discovered by Romulus soon after the foundation of Rome.

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The Temples

Back in the day, the Circus Maximus was home to several shrines dedicated to different deities. These temples later got either lost or destroyed because of heavy fire and negligence. The entrance of Circus Maximus features the Temples of Ceres and Flora. According to believers, Hercules was the godfather of this stadium and protected it for a long time. There is a famous temple, namely Magna Mater, that is still gracing Palatine hill in Rome.

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The Sun and the Moon Cult

The Circus was believed to be the symbol of the Sun and the moon cult which were represented here since the beginning. With the introduction of the Roman cult to Apollo, their importance started to grow. According to locals and tourists, Sun God was a significant protector of the Circus during the rule of different emperors. Also, he was believed to be a divine charioteer who drove from morning to evening.

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Imperial Cosmology

According to Imperial Cosmology, the emperor is considered as Sol-Apollo's earthly equivalent. Shrines to Mercury, Dis and Venus, are situated on the Southeastern turn slope which you can visit during your visit to Circus Maximus. During the late imperial era, both the circus and the southeastern turn were sometimes regarded as Vallis Murcia.

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History of Circus Maximus

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The history of Circus Maximus dates back to the early 6th century BC and had twelve entrance gates for all chariots to kickstart the race were arranged in an arc form systematically. The place has a massive seating capacity of nearly 2,50,000 spectators, where all seats were made using concrete and wood. After a devastating fire in 64CE, Circus Maximus was left in ruins; the place was a historic site forever. Before it turned into ashes, Circus Maximus featured a racing track which was measured 540*80 m and was completely covered with sand. Conical structures were present at the end of the track, whereas an obelisk was in the middle of the track. According to history, besides being a centre point for all chariot races, Circus Maximus used to host public feasts, national celebrations and religious ceremonies. This brings a sense of togetherness among citizens resulting in strengthened social bonds.

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Plan Your Visit

Essential Information
How To Reach
Visitor's Tips

  • Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday (Winters) - 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday to Sunday (Summers) - 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM

  • Location: Maximus Circus is located in Via Del Circo Massimo between the Palatine and Aventine hills.

  • Best Time to Visit: Although the park remains open throughout the year, one can plan their visit during the summers. Maximus Circus is a famous landmark in Rome which means you might experience a large crowd during your visit to this place. If you want to avoid heavy crowds, visiting this place between 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM would be ideal. You can also visit here one hour before the closing time when the place is less crowded and ideal for exploring.

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Is Circus Maximus worth visiting?

Yes, Circus Maximus is a historical site and an ancient structure which belongs to the 6th century BC. Although most of Circus Maximus has turned into ruins, it is an undetachable part of the Roman lifestyle and history.

What would you do at Circus Maximus?

Located in Rome, Maximus Circus was once a chariot racing stadium that has now been transformed into a public garden; however, it still retains a major part of the Roman lifestyle and history. On your visit to Circus Maximus, do not forget to mark your presence at the temples, the track, the Sun and the moon cult and the imperial cosmology.

How can I reach Circus Maximus?

  • By Train: From Leonardo da Vinci Airport, get on the Leonardo train. It takes around 32 minutes to cover the total distance between the train station and Circus Maximus. There is a train to Maximus Circus every 20 minutes.

  • By Bus: Take a bus from the airport to visit EUR. To reach Circus Maximus, take the subway from EUR. The total time to cover this distance is 45 minutes. Once you have reached EUR, reach Circus Maximus from Subway within 12 minutes.

  • By Taxi: Travel to Circus Maximus from Leonardo da Vinci Airport within 23 minutes.

What events were held in the Circus Maximus?

Back in the day, a lot of events were hosted by Circus Maximus at regular intervals including chariot races, gladiator fights, and other athletic activities. Circus Maximus also organised a major combat between twenty elephants and barbarian gladiators.

How was Circus Maximus destroyed?

During 64 AD, a massive fire broke out among the shops lined inside the Circus Maximus. Most parts of the stadium were turned into ashes because of this event. Later in 31 BC, another fire broke down, which destroyed the seating arrangements in and around the chariot stadium. Later, several wars took place here, along with fire and flood, which turned Circus Maximus into ruins.

What is the best time to visit Circus Maximus?

The best time to visit Circus Maximus is during the summer months. During this time, the place remains open throughout the day. Not only is this time apt for sightseeing, but also you can have a fun time exploring Circus Maximus as well.

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