The Colosseum in Rome is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture.
After the Vatican City it is the second most visited place in Italy. Almost six million people from around the globe visit this monument each year. Constructed and completed during the Flavian dynasty (70 A.D – 96 A.D.) this great piece of architecture is also known as the Flavian Amphitheater. Colosseum in Rome was used for gladiatorial contests and various public spectacles. It could hold between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators.
The monument suffered considerable damage over the centuries due to several strong earthquakes. What you see today as the exterior of the Colosseum is in fact the original interior wall. Little now remains of the original arena floor, but the underground is still clearly visible. Beneath the arena there was a two-level subterranean network of tunnels and cages. This was where the gladiators and animals were kept before each contest.
Colosseum in Rome is an iconic symbol of Roman Empire. Standing in a structure that has so much history must be an incredible experience. The view is amazing from all the sides. To get the chance to walk the corridors the Romans walked hundreds of years ago is unforgettable. It is definitely one of the must-see places in Italy.
We searched more about this place and discovered some interesting facts about the Colosseum:
1. There were crowd giveaways
To keep the audience interested in what was happening in the arena, they were given free snacks and food.
2. Class separation
Members of a higher class had special seats in the arena. They were separated from the ordinary spectators. Only the rich ones were allowed to enter the arena through the numbered arches (1-76) that can still be seen today.
3. Attending the games was a risky thing
From a spectator you could be easily turned into a prey and victim. If for some reason the show didn’t go as planned, the emperor would order several spectators to be thrown into the arena.
4. One man ran the show
The only person who was in charge of the whole show was the emperor himself. He monitored everything from his box and decided whether a loser should die or live.
5. There were big parties in the Colosseum
In 80 A.D. Emperor Titus organizes a huge opening party, with the games that ran for 100 days straight. That wasn’t his last party, he organized many more after that.
The walls of the Colosseum were not only decorated with paintings, but also with different graffiti. It was gladiators who scribbled them on the walls.
7. Not every battle had to end in death
Death was not the only outcome of a battle as it was presented in the movies. Sometimes the gladiators didn’t want to kill their opponents. Other times, the favorites of the audience were granted a pardon.
8. Tickets were free
The emperor was a good PR. Not only did he entertain the public with free snacks, but he also allow them to watch gladiators’ matches for free.
9. Thousands of animals died
Around 9,000 animals died during the Colosseum’s opening ceremony. The animals and the gladiators were kept in the underground section before entering the arena. Sometimes animals fought against other animals and sometimes against humans.
10. There were three parts
The entire show consisted of three parts: the animals hunt, criminals’ execution and gladiator’s match.