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The Colosseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheater, is an immense elliptical amphitheater in the center of the city of Rome, between the Esquiline and Cælius Hills, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. Its construction, just east of the Roman Forum, began between 70 and 72 AD, under Emperor Vespasian, and was completed in 80 under Titus. Further modifications were then made during the reign of Domitian. The name Flavian Amphitheater comes from the family name of the emperors Vespasian, Titus and Domitian.

Able to hold an estimated 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for venationes, munera, and other public spectacles such as executions of condemned criminals, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Roman mythology. It remained in service for almost 500 years, with the last games extending up to the 6th century. For the inauguration of the Colosseum in 80 AD, Titus gave a naumachia in the Colosseum converted into a basin recreating the naval battle of Corinth against Corcyra. The building eventually ceased to be used during the early Middle Ages. It was later reused for various uses such as dwellings, craft workshops, the seat of a religious order, a fortress, a quarry and a Christian Catholic sanctuary.

The Colosseum is now in a state of ruin due to the damage caused by earthquakes and the reclaimed stones, but it still conveys the measure of the former power of Imperial Rome. Today it is one of the symbols of modern Rome, one of its most popular tourist attractions with 7.6 million visitors, and still has close links to the Roman Catholic Church: every Good Friday, the Pope leads a torchlight procession on a Via Crucis to the amphitheater. The Colosseum is represented on the Italian 5 Euro cent coin.

Colosseum, ancient Roman amphitheatre, a landmark of Rome, Italy

Location: Municipio I

Inception: 82

Founder: Vespasian

Official opening: 81

Capacity: 65000

Height: 48 m

Length: 187 m

Width: 155 m

Area: 5,000 m²

Accessibility: wheelchair accessible

Material: travertine, tuff, concrete

Phone: 39067740091

Email: [email protected]

Website: parcocolosseo.it


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