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.

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

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kavya Shekar (15 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 (15 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 (15 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 (15 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 (16 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!
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