The Roman Colosseum is indeed one of the world's most famous archaeological monuments. It is undeniably colossal. The Colosseum is about 160 feet high and 600 feet long. It's located near the Roman Forum.
So, who built this admirable building also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre? Well, the Roman Emperor Vespasian had the idea of building a large arena where games and gladiator fights would occur. Romans were well known for their blood thirst. In 70AD, the construction started - the Colosseum was mostly built out of concrete, one of the most famous Roman inventions. The construction lasted for around 10 years.
Perhaps it's hard to imagine now in the 21th century what this building meant for the entire Roman Empire. The meaning of Colosseum was as enormous as the construction itself. It was a symbol of Roman power and wealth, it supported the popularity of the Flavian dynasty, and it introduced the advanced building and engineering techniques. This was the Emperor's gift to Roman citizens. The location of the arena was in the very centre of Rome, and it was built for the Roman people so the access to the games and festivals was free. The emperors and various nobles also visited the games. The Colosseum had a capacity between 50,000 and 80,000 people! The space underneath the arena was called Hypogeum; which means 'underground'. It contained two subterranean floors and about 30 animal cages. These animals were brought to Rome from every corner of the Empire. There were many exotic animals like tigers, lions, hippos, zebras and many other wild animals. There were over 70 entrances; each ticket was labeled with a seat number. The inside of the arena was covered with sand.
Who were gladiators? They were not free men, and were usually criminals or slaves. There were various types of gladiators like free gladiators, substitute gladiators, mounted bowman, female gladiators known as Amazones and many more. Gladiator games were formed to re-enact the famous Roman victories. This was also a notorious place where thousands of Christians were killed.
The opening day of a festival or the start of the gladiator games was marked with a parade. The order of events was strictly planned. These are only some of the events: wild animal hunt, acrobats, gymnasts, musicians and dancers, boxing, wrestling, gladiatorial combats, etc. Experiencing the Colosseum is really special. You will feel an instant rush of blood to the head. Imagine all the fights, the emperors, and the people. It is a truly great monument. Today, it is in a partly ruined state, but don't forget that this monument is 2,000 years old. If you finally decided to visit Rome for vacation, the Colosseum is one of the sites you must see! When visiting, it is really necessary to bring comfortable walking shoes. The amphitheatre is enormous so your feet might be sour. Explore all the secret components and tunnels of the Colosseum and get a feel of what life was like in the ancient and remarkable Roman Empire.