The Colosseum is one of the most famous amphitheaters in the world, is located in the center of Rome between the Basilica of the Lateran, and the Roman Forum.
The construction of the Colosseum began between 70 and 72 AD and the opening ceremony took place in 80 AD. At the time the Rome was under the reign of the Flavian dynasty which the amphitheater was origanally named after as the Flavian Amphitheater. The name "Colosseum" was given to it at the beginning of the Middle Ages and it was derived from the greek word kolossos meaning "monumental" - in a reference to the huge statue depicting Helios erected in front of the building. The Colosseum was placed where once was a lake what gives the impression that it is in a basin.
Elliptical structure has a length of 188 meters, width of 156 meters and is 49.5 meters tall. Circumference measures 524 meters. Inside the Colosseum, there could have been from 45 to 73 thousand spectators in one moment. Under arena there is a system of underground corridors. Floors were built in different styles, the lowest is maintained in the Tuscan style, the second is in Ionic style and the third in the Corinthian style. There are characterstic arcades on all three of them, while the fourth, top one, is decorated with small windows only. Being inside the Colosseum one can notice that it actually has five floors. On the floorplan of four of them, there were rooms located between the pillars and walls, and covered with barrel and groin vaults. Theose rooms functioned as locker rooms, baths, cages for animals, and rooms for gladiators. Arena, with its eighty entrances, was surrounded by the podium. The arena was also equipped with a special awning (velarium) over the whole sitting area, which could be unfolded during rainy or very hot days.
First of all the Colosseum was used as an arena for gladiator fights, naumachiae ("sea battles" during which the arena was flooded with water) and hunting for wild animals. Often, it is said that Christians were murdered here. However, it seems to be a legend invented probably in 17th century, since the actual pogrom took place in the Nero’s gardens and the Circus Maximus, where today St. Peter's Basilica is located. Gladiator fights, called Munera, were classified on the basis of weapon types that were in use: Reziari used nets and tridents, Sanniti fought with short swords, Traci defensed with shields and swords. Additionally, there were performances called Venationes held - the struggle of people with wild animals. There are some evidences that on the arena the condemned were executed very often.
The Pope Benedict XIV consecrated Stations of the Cross in the Colosseum in 18th century. Since then Via Crucics is organized on the Great Friday every year. It a spiritual experience for Christians who come to Rome especially for this event from all over the world.
It is interesting that even today the Colosseum is used by modern architects as an example of a perfect construction of sports facilities by the specific layout of corridors, so that even the largest objects can be missed by viewers in a few minutes.
Today the Colosseum is an undoubted landmark of Rome. While being in the city it is necessary to visit that place.
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|Neighbourhood||IV Templum Pacis (14 regioni di Roma augustea)|
|Price||normal : 13.50 child : 1.50 (age <7) youth : 1.50 (age 7<) student : 9.00 (age <24) retired : 1.50 (age 65<) guide : 17.50|
|Geographical coordinates||41.8895897, 12.4940828|
|Address||00184 Rome, Piazza del Colosseo 4|
|Construction dates||70 - 80|