A LOOK INSIDE THE COLOSSEUM

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@The Colosseum, Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma, Italy

The Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of concrete and sand,it is the largest amphitheatre ever built. The Colosseum is situated just east of the Roman Forum. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in AD 72,and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and heir Titus. Further modifications were made during the reign of Domitian (81–96).

The Colosseum could hold, it is estimated, between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, having an average audience of some 65,000;  it was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.

The arena itself was 83 meters by 48 meters (272 ft by 157 ft / 280 by 163 Roman feet).  It comprised a wooden floor covered by sand, covering an elaborate underground structure called the hypogeum (literally meaning "underground"). The hypogeum was not part of the original construction but was ordered to be built by Emperor Domitian. Little now remains of the original arena floor, but the hypogeum is still clearly visible. It consisted of a two-level subterranean network of tunnels and cages beneath the arena where gladiators and animals were held before contests began. The hypogeum was connected by underground tunnels to a number of points outside the Colosseum.

Although partially ruined because of damage caused by earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and also has links to the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum.

Source: wikipedia

Photos by Lei Li