Colosseum – Rome – Italy
It is now an accepted fact that the specialness of the ancient architecture lies in their strength of endurance despite of all the neglects they go through. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the famous Colosseum of Rome, Italy is a glaring example of that. Even after 2,000 years of its existence, it stands tall and strong.
Past of the Colosseum
Started in AD 72 by Emperor Vespasian, it is also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre after the three emperors of the Flavian dynasty who completed it. It still remains the biggest amphitheatre of the world which till this day stands as an ambassador of Rome. One of the few surviving pieces of actual Roman architecture, the Colosseum is made of stone and concrete and is known to have had a capacity of seating 50,000 to 80,000 people in a tiered seating plan. It is elliptical in shape with a length of 188metres and a width of 156metres.
The motivation behind the creation of the Colosseum was extremely political so as to remove the traces of the castle of Emperor Nero and substitute it with a gift to the Roman people where they could come and enjoy watching circuses and wild animal fights for amusement. The Colosseum shows signs of the Greek architectural styles and was the first amphitheatre with a retractable roof.
Colosseum in the Medieval Ages
After serving the Roman population as an entertainment ground for about 450 years, the Colosseum, in 10th century AD, faced a lot of neglect as houses and shops came up with in the premises and many of them stole the stones and concrete of the structure for personal use. During the ages of Renaissance the degeneration of the Colosseum reached its peak which then got reduced with finally the start of the Restoration period in the 18th century.
Till this day, though nobody has even thought of taking the initiative of rebuilding the Colosseum in entirety, the maintenance certainly takes place to preserve whatever is left of it. The last restoration project which happened on it costed €20m and finally got complete in the year 2000.
Colosseum mesmerizing tourists
The ancient building of Colosseum still continues to attract and entertain tourists with the lights which beautify it at night. Usually, every year, thousands of tourists pay a visit to the Colosseum from across the European Union to catch a glimpse of the ancient Rome. While most of the Colosseum is accessible to people, including those on wheelchairs, there are lifts to a couple of upper floors. A museum of Eros has now been started in the upper floors and the flooring of some part of the arena has been reconstructed. The underground passageway of the Colosseum which earlier was used for passing animals is now open to public during summers.
The Colosseum still bears its strong connections with the Roman Catholic Church which is why Every Good Friday the torch lit procession is started from the Colosseum by the Pope.