The Coliseum or Colosseum is one of the greatest architectural works of humanity that has reached our days and one of the symbols of ancient and modern Rome.
Is in the UNESCO heritage list since 1980.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Coliseum is, within the main tourist attractions of Rome, the one more to the southeast. You can walk there from the main points of interest of the city center (see the post ITINERARY: THE BEST OF ROME). For those using public transport in the city:
- The nearest metro station is Colosseo, on line B blue.
- Nearby buses: 60, 75, 85, 87, 117, 175, 186, 271, 571, 810, 850 and C3.
- Tram 3.
- Open daily from 8:30 am to one hour before sunset.
- Admission includes Coliseum, Forum and Palatine. Adult 12 €. To skip some of the queue, my cousin Javi bought the ticket in the Forum or the Palatine entrance, where there are hardly any people, while at the Coliseum there is always many.
- There may not be tickets available for the same day, so you can buy them in advance on the official website of museums in Rome with a surcharge of € 4.
- The audio guide costs € 5.5 more.
- Free the first Sunday of each month.
Its name derives from the Colossus, a 31 meters bronze statue representing Nero, that was next to the entrance. Many people associate the name Coliseum with this type of building, which is incorrect. In fact it is a Roman amphitheater, a construction present in each and every city of the empire, no matter how far away it was (the second largest conserved is in Tunisia) from the capital. The only one that receives the name of Coliseum is therefore the one of Rome, that in addition is the greater, but it was not the greater building constructed by the empire; that honor belonged to the Circus Maximus, which housed 250,000 spectators, where they celebrated the quadrigas races like in the film Ben Hur; today it is little more than an esplanade south of the Palatine.
Built in the first century by the emperors of the Flavia dynasty very close to the Forum, so that it was accessible to any citizen. It had capacity for 50,000 spectators. There were 80 rows of seats and was covered by a roof of masts and fabrics that worked similarly to the sails of a large ship. In its inauguration celebrations took place during 100 days, and in later years other celebrations surpassed them. Although it is associated with gladiator fights, it hosted all type of spectacles.
With the decay of the Roman Empire in the 5th century the Coliseum was used in many different ways: shelter, factory, seat of religious institutions, fortress and finally began to be dismantled, since its beams were made of bronze.
Fortunately, the Catholic Church made it a sanctuary, claiming the martyrdom suffered by thousands of Christians there, saying the sand was impregnated with its blood; otherwise, there would probably have been nothing left.
Walking in the interior gives us a better idea of the dimensions of the building. The seats closest to the arena were reserved for the nobles. The arena itself had a floor of planks covered with sand, so that the animals and gladiators did not slip, which have been recreated at one end.
Underneath were several galleries and rooms, which have now been uncovered. Unfortunately you are not allowed to walk in the lower area.
On the first floor there is a museum dedicated to Cupid.
It is located next to the Coliseum, built in the 4th century, to commemorate a victory of this emperor. Details and inscriptions were added to serve as a memorial to other subsequent battles as well.
THE FAKE ROMANS THAT CHASE TOURISTS TO BE IN THE PICTURES WITH THEM AND THEN ASK FOR MONEY
They probably have been here as long as the buildings.