Visiting Rome? You simply can’t miss the Colosseum
Want to explore the past up close? We’ll drop you right outside, so you can explore a building famed for brutal gladiatorial combat, mock sea battles and classical theatre. At its peak, between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators would be baying for blood here, with emperors commissioning such savage events for more than 400 years.
A true colossus
Construction of the majestic Colosseum began in 70AD under Emperor Vespasian and was completed 10 years later by his heir Titus. Now, after 2,000 years, it remains the largest amphitheatre in the world.
Although partly destroyed by an earthquake in 1349, it still draws more than 20 million visitors a year to the heart of ancient Rome, making it one of the world’s most visited attractions.
Other interesting facts about the Colosseum
- The Colosseum is a huge ellipse, 188 metres (616 feet) long and 156 metres (511 feet) wide, with an arena in its centre
- The Colosseum was also used for animal hunts, with some species such as the North African Elephant and Nile Hippo driven to the point of extinction here
- 80 arched entrances allowed easy access to more than 50,000 spectators
- For mock sea battles the Colosseum was partially filled with water pumped through the system of channels built under the arena, and ships were brought inside
- It’s thought that more than 500,000 people and more than 1 million animals lost their lives here throughout centuries of gladiatorial battles and staged hunts.