Interesting facts about the Colosseum

Posted on Apr 8, 2021      44

The famous Colosseum is one of the greatest cultural monuments of ancient Rome. Once upon a time its arena was used for sports competitions and it was there that the battles between gladiators took place. Now this majestic building has been partially destroyed, but most of it has survived to this day.

Facts about the Colosseum

  • Every night the staff scatters a lot of cobblestones that are specially brought here. This is done because many tourists want to sneak a piece of the Colosseum away with them, and they could simply “take apart” the ancient structure in a few years. And so each of them picks up a pebble from the ground and sincerely believes that they now have a fragment of this ancient arena.
  • In fact, there were quite a few coliseums in ancient Rome. The one in Rome is notable for its gigantic size, and it is well preserved, so its name is written with a capital letter, as a proper name.
  • It is about 2,000 years old. Construction of the Colosseum began in 72 AD by order of Emperor Vespasian. In 80 AD, under Emperor Titus, his son, it was completed.
  • Its official historical name is the Flavius Amphitheatre.
  • According to some estimates, if the Colosseum had been built in modern times, the cost of construction would have been 39 million euros.
  • In the past it was possible to enter the Colosseum through one of the 80 entrances.
  • On July 7, 2007, it was listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
  • For its construction, a lake was buried, which was on this site.
  • It is the largest ancient amphitheater ever built. Stone blocks and a concrete-like cementitious mixture were used as building materials.
  • The Colosseum is depicted on a 5 euro cent coin minted in Italy. However, such coins are quite rare because Italians like to round prices.
  • Over the years, the Colosseum lost about 2/3 of its mass during its decline. Its walls went to build new houses near it, and some of the iron staples that held the stones in place material for weapons. A similar fate befell some of the pyramids of ancient Egypt.
  • For each person here was allocated a seat with a width of only 35 cm.
  • The length of the outer ellipse of the Colosseum is 524 meters, the major axis has a length of 187.77 meters, and the minor axis is 155.64 meters. The arena is 85.75 meters long and 53.62 meters wide, with walls rising 48 to 50 meters.
  • The longest games on the arena of the ancient amphitheater lasted exactly 123 days.
  • Sometimes the arena of the Colosseum was deliberately flooded about 1 meter deep in order to hold shipboard gladiatorial battles.
  • For centuries after the collapse of the Roman Empire it was abandoned. It was not until the 18th century that the Catholic Church decided that the site of the Colosseum should be preserved.
  • The Colosseum a source of building materials for structures such as the Palazzo Venezia and the Lateran Basilica. Its marble was also used to build St. Peter’s Cathedral, the largest building in the Vatican, and the largest historic Christian church in the world.
  • In the past, the underground part of the Colosseum was filled with mud, and for several centuries the Romans grew vegetables and stored them inside the building. And blacksmiths and merchants occupied the upper tiers.

  • The Colosseum is the second most visited attraction in Italy and the first in Rome.
  • In 2013 began a major project to restore the ancient amphitheater. It will cost millions of euros, but the building will not be completely rebuilt. It will only be strengthened and restored so that it is not destroyed by time.
  • In the Colosseum, was never filmed movies about gladiators. Its role in the movies is played by the Amphitheater in El Jam, also known as the Amphitheater of Mark Antony Gordian, because it is better preserved.
  • Besides fights between people, animal fights were also staged here. A gladiator, in order to stay alive and be victorious, had to kill a wild animal released from its cage into the arena.
  • The last games on the arena of the Colosseum were held in 528, and the last battle with gladiators took place in 435, that is, almost a century earlier.
  • The ancient amphitheater could hold up to 50 thousand spectators at a time. It is more than in many modern stadiums.
  • Besides battles, the Colosseum was also used for the execution of condemned criminals. And it was carried out in the presence of thousands of spectators.
  • In the XX century concerts were repeatedly held here. In particular, Paul McCartney, Elton John and other world stars have performed here.
  • In the first half of the XX century there was a project to turn the ancient Roman Colosseum into a luxury hotel. But the beginning of the Second World War prompted the city authorities to abandon those plans, and then they were forgotten.
  • The walls of the Colosseum were built from blocks of marble and lime stuff, which were brought from Tivoli, a town about 25 kilometers from Rome.
  • Due to the unique microclimate that prevails in the amphitheater, over 350 species of plants can be seen in the ruins.
  • The outer part of the southern wall of the Colosseum collapsed in 1349 because of a powerful earthquake.