Nowadays known as the symbol of Rome, the Coliseum has a long history, made up of human fighting, sacrifices and violence. Its grand splendor has had different faces over the centuries, often ferocious.
The construction of the Coliseum, or Flavian Amphitheater, began in the 1º century AD with Emperor Vespasian in existing spot where the artificial lake of Nero’s Domus Aurea was. For doing it were employed 12,000 prisoners of war. He was the son Titus to complete the monumental work and open the building in 80 with a party of 100 days and the sacrifice of 5.000 animals.
The size of the Coliseum is just colossal (from that, its name): 57 meters height, equivalent to a 18 floors building, and an outer circumference of 527 meters. In ancient Rome the Coliseum came to hold up to 50,000 spectators entering through 80 different entrances. It has been opened to the public, but the location of every spectator indicated his social status: cruel games held here, where the gladiators fought to the death against wild animals to delight the audience. One of the most impressive shows held when the Coliseum was filled with water to simulate a naval battle.
In the 6º century the barbarians destroyed many parts and in the following centuries the Coliseum in Rome was transformed into a kind of public mine where people took up stones to build new residences in the city.
In the 18º century it was devoted to the Passion of Jesus, for Christians it is assumed they have been martyred there. In this way, the Coliseum was saved from destruction to which it had been subjected during previous centuries.
Today you can visit it by paying an entrance fee. There are often shows and concerts organized. In the evening, illuminated, is certainly one of the most fascinating places in Rome.
Coliseum - Piazza del Colosseo - tel. 06 7740091
from September 1 to September 30:
from 8.30 to 19.00 - last admission 18.00
October 1 to 25:
from 8.30 18.30 - last entry at 17:30
From October 26 to February 15, 2009:
from 8.30 to 16.30 - last admission 15.30
from February 16 to March 15:
from 8.30 to 17.00 - last entry at 16:00
March 16 to 29:
from 8.30 to 17.30 - last entry at 16:30
from March 30 to August 31:
from 8.30 to 19.15 - last entry at 18:15
TICKETS € 9.00 including entrance to the Palatine
Information and booking: tel. 06.39967700
Monday-Saturday 9:00 to 13:30 and from 14:30 to 5:00 p.m.
The ticket office closes one hour before museum closing
You can purchase tickets at the ticket offices of the Palatine, where also includes a visit to the Palatine and the Roman Forum.
The ticket offices are located at:
- Via di San Gregorio n. 30 (Palatine)
- Largo Salara Vecchia n.5/6 (Foro Romano)
Credits Pics Flickr Gallery: estrelas - francisco antunes - ScriS