Flavian Amphitheater

Pozzuoli, Italy

The Flavian Amphitheater is the third largest Roman amphitheater in Italy. Only the Roman Colosseum and the Capuan Amphitheaters are larger. It was likely built by the same architects who previously constructed the Roman Colosseum.

It was begun under the reign of the emperor Vespasian and probably finished under the reign of his son Titus. The arena can hold up to 50,000 spectators. The interior is mostly intact and one can still see parts of gears which were used to lift cages up to the arena floor.

In 305, the arena was the setting for the persecutions of the patron of Pozzuoli, Saint Proculus, and the patron saint of Naples, Saint Januarius. After surviving being thrown to the wild beasts in the arena, the two were beheadedat the nearby Solfatara.

The elliptical structure measures 147 x 117 meters, with the arena floor measuring 72.22 x 42.33 meters.

The Flavian Amphitheater is the second of two Roman amphitheaters built in Pozzuoli. The smaller and older amphitheater (Anfiteatro minore) has been almost totally destroyed by the construction of the Rome to Naples railway line. Only a dozen arches of this earlier work still exist.

The site of the structure was chosen at the nearby crossing of roads from Naples, Capua and Cumae. It was abandoned when it was partially buried by eruptions from the Solfatara volcano. During the Middle Ages, the marble used on the exterior was stripped, but the interior was left alone and is perfectly preserved. Excavations of the site were performed 1839 to 1845, 1880 to 1882, and finally in 1947.

 

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1st century AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kristopher Amar (2 months ago)
Pretty damn cool place
Ollie Beard (3 months ago)
Good description and the tour guide told much information and kept it all very interesting!
Francesca Cheshier (5 months ago)
The Anfiteatro is in very good condition. It is located in my hometown, and I am proud of it. I have always loved it, and love to go to it. The Anfiteatro is a must if you are in Pozzuoli, the entry ticket is about € 6.00. Also, just so you know, the first Sunday of each month you can visit more than 480 museums, archeological sites and monuments all across Italy for free.
chris cronkrite (7 months ago)
I have visited this amazing structure many times, but the times I have walked through with Sergio as my guide have been the very best. He is the most knowledgeable person regarding the theater. I can't thank him enough for sharing his information.
Jaclyn Mazzella (10 months ago)
Came here on a pit stop. Much smaller and pretty awesome you can get underground to see beneath. Easily seen in an hour even less. Very well preserved.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of the Savior on Blood

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.

Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.

In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.