The Roman Colosseum (or Coliseum), is one of the most impressive building of the roman empire. it is the largest amphitheatre ever built and receive millions of visitors annually. Below, we reveal 15 interesting things to know.
- Its shape is not round but oval It is a huge ellipse with a perimeter of 527 meters
Originally it was 52 meters high, today its height is about 48 meters and continues to be the largest amphitheater in the world.
- Its maximum capacity was 50,000 viewers
It could host up to 50,000 people, over 8500 more than the modern stadiums.
- Its original name is the Flavian Amphitheater
It was originally called Amphitheatrum Flavium, in honor of the Flavian Dynasty which belonged to Vespasian and Tito, the Roman emperors who started and finished the construction work.
- It was inaugurated with a ceremony lasting 100 days
It was built in just 2 years and 9 months and inaugurated in 80 AD. With a hundred days of shows. During the opening ceremony over 5,000 belve were killed in just one day.
- About 500,000 people and at least one million animals died inside
During the shows there were fighting between animals and sometimes between men and animals.
- Within the Flavian Amphitheater there were never sacrificed Christian martyrs
This legend has been deprived of any foundation, according to historians only professional gladiators or prisoners of war took part in the battles.
- It was the scene of incredible simulated naval battles
In addition to the traditional clashes between gladiators and fierce beasts, there were organized shows called Naumachie, during which actual battles took place. On such occasions the arena was completely filled with water.
- The Colosseum show lasted for a whole day
The performances lasted over ninety minutes! In order to be comfortable in the hard stone seats, spectators were forced to wear soft pillows from home.
- Gladiatorial activity was abolished in 404 by Onorio I
Even Emperor Constantine did the utmost to put an end to the barbarians of the Coliseum, but it was only in 404 that the performances ended altogether. The battles were abolished as a result of an accident in which the Greek monk Almacchio was killed, who went down to the Arena to protest against such abominations.
- The Colosseum is one of the 7 wonders of the modern world
In addition to being an undisputed symbol of Rome and a Unesco World Heritage Site, the Colosseum has been included in the 2007th the new 7 wonders of the world.
- The monument is used to support the international campaign against the death penalty
For over 15 years the lighting of the structure changes from white to golden whenever a death sentence is switched or canceled anywhere in the world.
- During the fascist dictatorship, the use of the Colosseum as a tourist accommodation was proposed
In the Fascist period some officials proposed a plan for transforming the amphitheater into a luxury hotel for tourists and pilgrims.
- The interior of the amphitheater presents some floral species studied by botanists
For some years, a group of botanists began to study and classify the more than 350 floral species of exotic origin spontaneously grown.
- Very few artists have had the honor to perform near the Colosseum
Only a few great international musicians have been fortunate enough to be able to perform with the Coliseum in the background, including Paul McCartney, Ray Charles and Elton John.
- The “Colosseum Archaeological Circuit, Roman Forum and Palatine” is one of the most visited tourist site in Italy
The Colosseum has been visited by over 6 million people in 2014, and still today is among the most successful sites in italy.