Discover the Most Interesting Facts About the Colosseum in Rome

16 Colosseum Facts | Unraveling the Mysteries of Ancient Rome's Iconic Amphitheater

Unveil 16 fascinating facts about the Colosseum, shedding light on its awe-inspiring design, cultural significance, and enduring legacy. From its colossal size to its technological innovations, prepare to be amazed by the secrets hidden within the stone walls of this legendary structure.

16 Interesting Colosseum Facts

1. The Surprising Role of Jewish Slaves

The Colosseum was actually built by tens of thousands of Jewish slaves that were brought to Rome by Emperor Vespasian. It took almost 10 years to build the Colosseum and was completed in AD 80.

2. The Colosseum Could Seat Up to 80,000 People

The Colosseum is the largest amphitheater ever built and could hold up to 80,000 spectators. It was used for various events such as gladiator battles, animal hunts, and public executions.

3. It Was Built on an Artificial Lake

The Colosseum was built on top of an artificial lake that was drained to make way for the amphitheater. The lake was part of Nero's Golden House, which was demolished to make way for the Colosseum.

4.The Colosseum Wasn't Always Called That

The original name of the Colosseum was the Flavian Amphitheater, named after the Flavian Dynasty of emperors who built it.

6. Contests took place over 100 days

The games sometimes went on for 100 days! Eventually, however, the contests no longer involved the killing of animals and gladiator fights. The last gladiator fights were held in 435 AD and the last animal hunts were in 532 AD.

7. It was destroyed by natural disasters

The Colosseum has been severely damaged by at least 3 massive fires and 4 earthquakes. It has undergone multiple repairs and renovations to restore it back to its glory over the years.

8. It's a Symbol of Christianity

Although the Colosseum was used for many violent events, it has become a symbol of Christianity. Many early Christians were martyred in the Colosseum, and Pope Benedict XVI has held a Way of the Cross procession at the Colosseum on Good Friday since 2005.

9. The Colosseum Was Covered in Marble

The Colosseum was originally covered in marble, but much of it was removed over the centuries and used in other buildings. However, some of the marble still remains on the Colosseum's top tier.

10. The Colosseum Was Also Used for Nautical Battles

In addition to animal hunts and gladiator battles, the Colosseum was also used for nautical battles. The arena was flooded with water, and battles between ships took place.

11. It was built by Vesuvius and Titus

The Colosseum construction was first commissioned by Emperor Vesuvius in 72 AD. However, Vesuvius died in 79 AD before the construction was complete. His son Titus completed the last level and the Colosseum held its inaugural games somewhere between 80 AD and 81 AD.

12. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Colosseum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the greatest architectural achievements of the Roman Empire. It's also one of the most visited tourist attractions in Rome

13. It Had a Retractable Roof: Velarium

The Colosseum had a retractable awning called the velarium, which was made of canvas and covered the entire seating area. It was used to shade the audience from the sun or rain during events.

14. A Technological Marvel Of Its Time

The Colosseum was a technological marvel of its time, with an advanced drainage system that could clear the arena of water within minutes. The amphitheater also had underground tunnels and chambers used to transport gladiators and animals to the arena.

15. The Colosseum Was Used for Over 500 Years

The Colosseum was in use for over 500 years, from its construction in AD 80 until the 6th century AD. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Colosseum was used for other purposes, such as as a cemetery and a fortress.

16. Travertine stone was used to build the Colosseum

The material used to build the Colosseum is travertine stone, which was mined at Tivoli, located about 20 miles away. It is estimated that 100,000 cubic meters of travertine were required to construct this massive amphitheater.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Colosseum Facts

What is the Colosseum?

The Colosseum is an ancient amphitheater located in the heart of Rome.

What is the most interesting fact about the Colosseum?

Despite being nearly 2000 years old, the Colosseum is the largest amphitheater ever built by humans.

Where is the Colosseum?

The Colosseum is located at the center of the city of Rome, in Italy.

When was the Colosseum built?

The Colosseum was built between the years 72 AD and 80 AD.

When did the Colosseum open?

The inaugural games at the Colosseum were held between 80 AD and 81 AD.

Who built the Colosseum?

Emperor Vespasian started building the Colosseum. He died in 79 AD before the top level was finished. His son, Emperor Titus completed the top level.

What is inside the Colosseum?

The interiors of the Colosseum feature a massive seating area, capable of housing 85,000 people and an arena that was 83 meters long and 48 meters wide.

What is the Colosseum famous for?

The Colosseum is famous for holding gladiatorial contests back in the era of
ancient Roman Emperors. It is also known for holding numerous festivals, performances, and plays in the arena.

How big is the Colosseum?

he Colosseum is an elliptical-shaped structure that measures approximately 189 meters long, 156 meters wide, and 50 meters high. It could seat up to 50,000 people in its heyday.

Who built the Colosseum?

The Colosseum was built by the ancient Romans during the Flavian dynasty, which lasted from 69 to 96 AD. The construction of the Colosseum was initiated by the Emperor Vespasian and completed by his son, Titus.

How long did it take to build the Colosseum?

The Colosseum was built in just eight years, from 72 AD to 80 AD, using over 100,000 cubic meters of stone and concrete.

What happened to the Colosseum after the fall of the Roman Empire?

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Colosseum was abandoned and fell into disrepair. It was used as a quarry for various buildings in Rome and was also damaged by several earthquakes. However, it was later restored and is now a popular tourist attraction.

Why was the Colosseum built?

The Colosseum was built to host various public spectacles, such as gladiatorial contests, animal hunts, and mock sea battles. These events were organized to entertain the public and to demonstrate the power and wealth of the Roman Empire.