The Ludus Magnus is the largest of Rome’s gladiatorial gyms. It was probably three floors high and had a oval open arena in the centre for the training of gladiators. They would practice and warm up before entering the Colosseum. An amazing structure and one of the world’s most impressive gyms even today. Come to visit the Ludus Magnus the “Gladiator’s Gym”.
It was built by Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD) in an area already occupied by structures from the Republican and Augustan periods. The remains currently visible belong to a second phase of the monument attributed to Emperor Trajan (98-117), in which the floor of the Ludus was raised by about one and a half metres.
The remains of the complex were discovered in 1937, but the exploration was not completed until twenty years later.
The gladiator’s gym
The Ludus Magnus was a complex structure. It had three levels and in addition to the gym there were also storage rooms and the infirmary. It’s location was studied in order to make the connection between the gym and the Colosseum as easy as possible. A tunnel connected the two buildings. This tunnel was a little over 2 metres wide and it started from the basement of the Colosseum and reached the Ludus Magnus, the gladiator’s gym at the south-west corner.