18 March 2015

#845 Rome, Italy

The Colosseum or Coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin: Amphitheatrum Flavium; Italian: Anfiteatro Flavio or Colosseo) is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of concrete and stone, it is the largest amphitheatre in the world, and is considered one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering.

The Colosseum is situated just east of the Roman Forum. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in 72 AD and was completed in 80 AD under his successor and heir Titus. Further modifications were made during the reign of Domitian (81–96). These three emperors are known as the Flavian dynasty, and the amphitheatre was named in Latin for its association with their family name (Flavius).

The Colosseum could hold, it is estimated, between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators and 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.

Although in the 21st century it stays partially ruined because of damage caused by devastating earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and has close connections with 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.

In 2007 the complex was included among the New7Wonders of the World, following a competition organized by New Open World Corporation (NOWC).

The Colosseum is also depicted on the Italian version of the five-cent euro coin.

It's in the list of UNESCO WHS as a part of Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura.

Date of Inscription on the List of UNESCO WHS: 1980

Thank you, Manuela !
Sent on: March 13, 2015
Received on: March 18, 2015

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