Built in AD 70-80 with travertine limestone and volcanic rock was the Roman Flavian amphitheater best known as the Colosseum. The Colosseum was the largest amphitheater that held up to 80,000 spectators as at the time it was constructed and for a long time after.
It was one of the most iconic structures of imperial Rome and one of the most visited tourist attractions in Italy.
With an outer wall height of 48 meters and base area of 24,000 square meters. It has an awning that stretched over to the seating area. The floor covered in sand and underground are labyrinths holding gladiators and other animals before fight.
Though the colosseum was famous for the gladiator fight, it was also a site for mock sea battles when the arena would be filled with water so vessels would float during the show and the water drained rapidly. It was also a home for reenactments of famous battles, executions and many other shows.
The Colosseum is oval in shape and had an outer wall which is 186m long, 156m wide and 57m in height. It was built with travertine tiles held with iron clamps in the southern part of the structure, while in the northern part was destroyed in the 1849 earthquake.
The travertine tiles held together by iron clamps that were fallen was used to construct buildings throughout Rome.
During games, the Emperors and vestal virgins watch from the north and south areas where there is the best view. You can still see the senators names carved in the stones around these area reserved for them.
The nobles sat on the he second level while the public sat on the third and fourth level. Internal passages and seating rows were arranged so that spectators can get to there place of seating and leave anytime they want and in minutes.
The interior of the colosseum was lavishly decorated but only a few fragment remains to show what the original decorations would have looked like.
There is a abronze cross which commemorates the Christian martyrs who died there during the Roman imperial period. Though there is little evidence that such thing happened there and the first mention of the place being a site for Christian martyrdom was not the 16th century.
Beside the colosseum is the arc or Constantine a triumphal arch honoring emperor Constantine as “the liberator of the city” and “bringer of peace” after his battle in the milvian bridge in 312.
21meters in height, it is the largest preserved Roman triumphal arch despite being incorporated into the castle of the Frangipani family for centuries. The arc was constructed with the reliefs from earlier structures so some of the scenes have little to do with Constantine and victory and include sacrifice to Apollo and boar hunt.
By Blessing Ogueri