Despite its fame, there are many little-known anecdotes and interesting facts about the Colosseum.

Dario Franceschini, Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage, recently made a major announcement affecting Rome. The city’s archaeological area will be included in a park that will encompass the Roman Forum, the Domus Aurea, Nero’s home, and the Colosseum, one of ancient Rome’s most famous monuments, and a symbol of Italy worldwide.

Despite its fame, there are many little-known anecdotes and interesting facts about the Colosseum.

Its actual name is the Flavian Amphitheater, named after the Flavian dynasty of emperors who reigned at the time and built it to put on gladiator and animal shows. The gladiators were mainly slaves captured in war — have you seen the Russell Crowe movie? — and sometimes became full celebrities. It is little known that there were also women gladiators.

colosseum

From the Latin, the name Colosseum became widespread in the Middle Ages, when the sight of this magnificent structure made people marvel. It’s not for nothing that we say colossal.

The Colosseum is one of the world’s most visited museums. Last year almost 6,500,000 tickets were sold. The only tourist attraction in the world that beats it is the Great Wall of China!

It is 50 meters tall; its arena is 86x54 meters, with rooms and passageways under it (and even elevators!). The animals came up into the arena from the underground on lifts holding cages that opened on one side from which they leapt out.

An enormous tent supported by poles was attached to the top to protect spectators from the sun.

It could accommodate more than 50,000 people, who were divided into five sections by their social class. It took only 10 minutes from entering for all to take their places.

For the Colosseum’s inauguration, there were 100 days of games in a row!


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