Colosseum

Type
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
Highlights
  • The construction of the Colosseum was started in 72 AD by Emperor Vespasian and it was completed in 80 AD, a year after the death of Vespasian.
Features:
Bathroom
Description
The Colosseum is one of Rome's most famous land marks. The structure is an elliptical amphitheatre located in the center of Rome. The colosseum was built from concrete and stone .It is considered to be the largest amphitheatre in the world. The construction of the Colosseum started in 72 AD by the Roman Emperor Vespasian. The building was completed in 80 AD, a year after the death of Emperor Vespasian.

The colloseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public shows and games such as animal hunts, mock sea battles, gladiator battles and executions. It seated 50,000 people. The Roman emperors used the Colosseum for the entertainment of the public with free games. The games symbolized power and they were used by the ruling emperor in order to increase his popularity. These games were held for an entire day or several days continuously. The shows usually started with comical acts and displays of exotic animals such as lions and bears and concluded with fights to the death between the animals and gladiators. The fighters were prisoners of war, slaves, or convicted criminals. The gladiatorial games continued until Christianity gradually put an end to the gory and deadly games.

The Colosseum was built on the area of an artificial lake. At the late 6th century a small church was built into the structure of the amphitheatre. In 1934, the Colosseum was damaged by an earthquake which resulted in the collapse of the outer south. The stones from the Colleseum were then reused to build palaces, churches,hospitals and other structures in Rome. Some of the famous structures which were built using the stones are Palazzo Farnese and St. Peter’s Basilica.

Church officials in Rome sought a productive use for the Colosseum during the 16thand 17th century. Pope Sixtus V had planned to turn The Colosseum into a wool factory in order to offer employment opportunities to prostitutes in Rome but the plans did not come to fruition due to his premature death. In 1671, Cardinal Altieri authorized the Colosseum to be used for bullfights but the public opposed this idea.

The Colosseum continued to be subject to different uses and renovations as nearly every leader of Rome had his own ideas concerning the use of the compound. The Roman emperors used the Colosseum to entertain the public with free games. The games symbolized prestige and power and they were used by the ruling emperor as a way of increasing his popularity. These games were held for a whole day or even several days continuously. In most cases, the shows started with comical acts and displays of exotic animals which ended with fights to death between the animals and gladiators. The fighters were normally slaves, prisoners of war or condemned criminals. The gladiatorial games continued until Christianity gradually put an end to the parts of the games which led to the death of people.

The modern Colosseum has been renovated, redecorated and painted. The Colosseum is used to host large events although the space inside is limited. During events with great attendance, the audience sits outside the Colosseum. The Colosseum is also a major tourist attraction in Rome with thousands of tourists visiting it every year to view the interior of the arena. Entrance for citizens of the European Union is partially subsidized, and the entrance is free for European Union citizens below the age of 18 or over 65. The upper floor of the outer wall of The Colosseum has a museum that is dedicated to Eros. Part of the arena floor had been re-floored and looks fabulous.

The Colosseum is also the site of Roman Catholic ceremonies in the 20th and 21stcenturies. For instance, Pope Benedict XVI led the Stations of the Cross ceremony called the Scriptural Way of the Cross at The Colosseum on Good Fridays. There was an agreement between the local official and Diego Della Valle, in 2011, to sponsor €25 million restoration of The Colosseum. 

Today it is one of the most popular tourist sites in Rome. Be sure to come and visit the Colleseum!
 
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