Discovered in 2004 in the center of Sofia, the Amphitheater of Serdica was a Roman amphitheater built in the third and fourth centuries. Just slightly smaller than Rome's Colosseum, the amphitheater was one of the largest in the eastern Roman empire. Seating 25,000 spectators, it lay outside of the city walls of the ancient city of Serdica and hosted fights between gladiators and a variety of wild animals, including crocodiles, bulls, bears, tigers,and lions.
The amphitheater was discovered in the early stages of construction on the Arena di Serdica Hotel and was subsequently built into the architecture of the hotel. About one-sixth of the arena can be seen today on the ground floor of the hotel, which is freely accessible for tourists. Visitors can also see a small exposition of coins and ceramics that were discovered on the site, which are thought to come from the reigns of Emperors Diocletian and Constantine, as well as animal footprints left behind in tiles.
The Arena di Serdica Hotel and the ruins of the Amphitheater of Serdica are in the center of Sofia, within easy walking distance of many hotels and just a couple blocks from the iconic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The nearest subway station is the Serdica station, a few blocks away.