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Rome’s defining symbol, Colosseum is also known as Flavian Amphitheater is the largest amphitheatre in the globe. It is impossible to find an amphitheatre of this scale in the Modern World which is why it gained lots of attention. Also, it couldn’t miss making an entry in the Seven Wonders of the World. Colosseum, in the heart of Rome, Italy is most famous for gladiatorial events.

COLOSSEUM ANCIENT ROME

The age of the imposing structure is 2000 years and its history takes us back to the lifestyle of Romans. Constructed in AD 80, the arena can host 50,000 people at once to enjoy. In ancient times, the Colosseum in Rome was the venue for various activities. It held events like gladiator fights, animal hunts, chariot races, drama, exhibitions of exotic animals, and plays. All these events took place for 500 years, later it started suffering from lootings, earthquakes, and bombings. With the fall of the Roman Empire and the gradual change in public tastes, the gladiatorial fights came to an end. The last occasion here was celebrated in the 6th Century.

For decades it was served as a storehouse, church, and cemetery. It was also used as a quarry for various building projects.

Colosseum Ariel view

ARCHITECTURE OF THE LARGEST AMPHITHEATER ON THE GLOBE

  • Colosseum in Rome was built on the site of the tyrannical emperor’s palace complex. The central artificial lake was drained and then converted into the public amphitheatre.
  • The largest amphitheatre of the World has an oval base of 189 x 156 meters and is 57 meters in height. The arena measures 87.5 meters x 54.8 meters.
  • The four-story-high oval-shaped structure is spectacular at every inch, with three visible floors and one basement floor.
  • The access inside the Colosseum of Rome is from 80 entrances of which 2 were for gladiators, 2 for emperors, and 76 for the visitors.
  • The exterior of the structure has open arcades on the three upper floors filled with statues. The arcades have a combination of Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders on the first, second, and third levels respectively. Some small rectangular windows can also be seen on the top floor.
  • The basement floor of the Colosseum brings you to another world. It holds rooms for gladiators who waited during the battles, hallways, and cages where beasts were kept.

COLOSSEUM FROM INSIDE

Colosseum Rome’s interior was mainly divided into three parts: the arena, cavea and podium.

  • The arena– The central part of the amphitheatre had wooden flooring which was covered in sand. The purpose of such flooring was to prevent the warriors from slipping and to soak up the blood fallen on the ground. The access to the underground chambers and passages beneath the arena was through trapdoors. There were also ramps and staircases which allowed the great entry of participants in the stage.
  • The Cavea– Cavea, the seating was divided into three levels: The lower tier was dedicated to the magistrates and senior officials, the middle tier for the wealthy citizens, and the topmost for the ordinary people from the lower class.
  • The Podium– Podium is a broad terrace placed in front of the Cavea which was reserved for senators, emperors, and VIPs.

STRUCTURE

Colosseum in Rome is a free-standing stone and concrete structure. It has a complex barrel and groin vault system.

The main structural framework and facade are of travertine, the secondary walls are of volcanic tufa whereas the inner walls and the arcade vaults are of concrete.

PRESERVATION OF THE COLOSSEUM

The Colosseum lost most of its part after standing still for over 5 centuries. When Colosseum was built it gathered many visitors and was very much active, but with time its activity stopped. It was damaged by lightning, earthquakes and many other disasters.

The restoration of the Colosseum was undertaken in the late 20th Century and became Rome’s greatest tourist attraction.

Colosseum Night view

COLOSSEUM OF ROME FACTS WHICH WILL LEAVE US IN SURPRISE

  • The Colosseum was named after Nero’s giant statue which was placed at one of the entrances. The statue couldn’t be seen in the present day.
  • Over 30 trapdoors were the element of surprise in the arena, as the gladiators had special shocking entry to the stage.
  • The arena was at times filled with water to give it a look of the Ocean and the boat battles were held. A beautiful World of water holding the boat fights was mesmerizing.
  • There is an underground passage connecting the nearby gladiator training center and the Colosseum.
  • To easily capture your seat in these massive numbers of seating, you can find the numbers etched above each entrance and save yourself from the chaos.
  • The stone and concrete structure took eight years and ten thousand man power to complete its construction.
  • The giant ancient amphitheater is capable to easily fit a modern day football pitch.
  • The entry to this marvelous public gathering space was free and sometimes free food was also served. The act was done to gain popularity.
  • Colosseum was full of brutal events; certain games killed 10,000 animals in a day. In total, a million animals and half a million people died inside the Colosseum.
  • Velarium, a canopy was there in the seating area which can be pulled over to provide shade from the blistering sun.
  • There is an entry ticket to access the Colosseum in today’s World.

Colosseum of Rome, even after getting destroyed two-third of its part has become a great tourist spot in Italy. The intricate amphitheatre with its simple geometry, massiveness, and hidden architectural gems has made its way in all of our hearts.

Sneha Dewani

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