The Colosseum is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of concrete and sand, it is the largest amphitheatre ever built and probably the most well-known landmark of Rome. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in AD 72, and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and heir Titus. Further modifications were made during the reign of Domitian (81-96).

The Colosseum could hold, it is estimated, between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, having an average audience of some 65,000; it was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.

Although partially ruined because of damage caused by earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and also has links to the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit 'Way of the Cross' procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 72-80 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kavya Shekar (19 months ago)
The place is iconic for a reason. The Roman Colosseum is a fantastic piece of architecture. Every nook and cranny holds a historic significance. Make sure to get yourself an audio video guide when you enter. It explains the story behind the architecture - the social classes during Roman empire, the battle of Gladiators, their hidden surprise rooms below the battle grounds, etc. Plan to spend at least 2 hours roaming around and exploring this wonderful monument. The Roman ruins and other popular landmarks are also close by when you are done with this gem. Do NOT miss the Colosseum when you visit Rome!
Wendy Carroll (19 months ago)
Such an amazing place. Didn't go inside, but walking around the outside and picking up the history is so fascinating. Looking at what was achieved without the machinery that we have access to today. Apparently 50,000 spectators could be accommodated and the means for the spectators to depart the Colosseum had also been incorporated into this magnificent icon.
Squidgy H (19 months ago)
Amazing to see an ancient piece of history. Crazy to think the things that went on there. It felt a bit surreal if I'm honest, reasonably priced. Lots of maintenance/construction going on at the same time but I guess that's understandable. Would highly recommend a visit!
Sam Hughes (19 months ago)
We went on a nice February day when the sun was shining but was not too hot (~20C) and so exploring this ancient marvel was not too strenuous. I would highly recommend a guide so that you know what everything is and also to go down onto the arena platform for the full experience. I loved learning about the fascinating history of the Colosseum and I would recommend it when the weather isn't 50C.
Arnav Singh (20 months ago)
The gladiators arena is glorious! This is a place rich with incredible history. It is a great place to visit, you will be in awe of the architecture, the reconstruction, the museum (that's right, it houses a small museum), the history, and the incredible views both in and around the Colosseum. The metro station takes you right to the Colosseum, with plenty of other sites within walking distance. Top tips: • Buy your tickets online and in advance. • Leave yourself plenty of time to see both the Colosseum and the Forum. The Forum takes about 3 hours to see, and you can easily spend over an hour in the Colosseum. • Wear comfortable shoes, there's a lot of walking involved. • ENJOY!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Saint Sophia Cathedral

The St Sophia's Cathedral was built between 1045-1050 inside the Novgorod Kremlin (fortress). It is one of the earliest stone structures of northern Russia. Its height is 38 m. Originally it was taller, for during the past nine centuries the lower part of the building became concealed by the two-metre thick cultural layer. The cathedral was built by Prince Vladimir, the son of Yaroslav the Wise, and until the 1130s this principal church of the city also served as the sepulchre of Novgorodian princes. For the Novgorodians, St Sophia became synonymous with their town, the symbol of civic power and independence.

The five-domed church looks simpler but no less impressive than its prototype, the thirteen-domed St Sophia of Kiev. The cathedral exterior is striking in its majesty and epic splendour evoking the memories of Novgorod's glorious past and invincible might. In the 11th century it looked more imposing than now. Its facade represented a gigantic mosaic of huge, coarsely trimmed irregular slabs of flagstone and shell rock. In some places (particularly on the apses), the wall was covered with mortar, smoothly polished, drawn up to imitate courses of brick or of whitestone slabs, and slightly coloured. As a result, the facade was not white, as it is today, but multicoloured. The play of stone, decorative painting and the building materials of various texture enhanced the impression of austere simplicity and introduced a picturesque effect.

The two-storied galleries extend along the building's southern, western and northern sides, with a stair-tower constructed at the north-eastern corner. The cathedral has three entrances - the southern, western and northern, of which the western was the main one intended for ceremonial processions. A gate standing at the entrance is known as the Sigtuna Gate (mid-12th century); according to legend, it was brought from the Swedish town of Sigtuna in 1187. The second name of the gate derives from the town of Magdeburg, where it was made. The two leaves are decorated with biblical and evangelical scenes in cast bronze relief. In the lower left corner there are portraits of the craftsmen who created this superb specimen of medieval Western European bronze-work. An inscription in Latin gives their names, Riquin and Weissmut. The small central figure - judging from an inscription in Slavonic - is a representation of the Russian master craftsman Avraam, who assembled the gate.

There is yet another bronze gate in the cathedral, called the Korsun Gate. Made in the 11th century in Chersonesos, Byzantium, it leads from the southern gallery into the Nativity Side-Chapel. Legend has it that the gate was handed over to Novgorod as a gift of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (c. 978 - 1054).

The interior of the cathedral is as majestic as its exterior. It is divided by huge piers into five aisles, three of which end in altar apses. In the south-western corner, inside the tower, there is a wide spiral in relatively small, modest buildings of the 12th - 16th centuries.