Dominique Caillat created the character of the gladiator Valerius for the Trier Amphitheatre 20 years ago. He is played by professional actors who slip into their role so convincingly that they still harness the enthusiasm of contemporary audiences.
This makes it a real success story with a wonderful range, befitting Trier's UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Nearly 1800 years have passed since Valerius fought for his life for the final time in the amphitheatre. He had dreamt of a life of fame and wealth, in the full knowledge that only a few gladiators would ever achieve this. As arena fighters, they eke out a living at the lowest fringes of society.
Their courage and will to fight is admired, and yet they are despised for being unfree, having to earn their meagre living with hard physical labour in the dust of the amphitheatre. Only very few lived and bought their freedom. Valerius survived, but at what cost? Walking through the amphitheatre, he recalls all the suffering he has witnessed, all the blood he himself has shed. He follows the footsteps of the animals, the fighters, the friends, who have all laid down their lives in the mighty ring of the arena. He tells of the day that still haunts him: the day on which he faced off against his best friend in the amphitheatre.
As time has gone by, other “experience tours” of a similar nature have also emerged in Trier. These also come highly recommended!