The Roman Colosseum is a huge stone amphitheater, situated at the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. It is an iconic symbol of Rome with a history of over 2000 years. Built around 80 AD, it once served as a venue for 100 days games, gladiatorial combats, animal fights and public executions. Today, the magnificent structure attracts millions of tourists every year, and it has been declared as one of the seven wonders of the world in July 2007.
The construction began in 70-72 AD under the reign of great Roman Emperor Vespian of the Flavian dynasty and completed by his son Titus in 80 AD. Since then, it became the largest amphitheater in the world, measuring 188 meters in length, 155 meters width and 57 meters in height. Titus inaugurated it with 100 days of games, where around 2000 gladiators were executed. The people of Rome enjoyed such spectacle, which they considered as entertainment. They would often cheer or hurl curses upon the gladiators during the games or combats. The gladiators who took part in the games were slaves or prisoners.
For four centuries, it remained in active. With the decline in the tastes among the people, where they no longer enjoyed witnessing executions, it slowly became inactive and fell into neglect. After that, it was used for many building projects, such as cemetery, storehouse, cathedrals and defence fortifications. During the 20th century, two-thirds of the monument fell into ruins due to the weather and other natural calamities. However, restoration began in the early 90s as a move to attract the tourists from all over the world.
A finest specimen of the Roman Empire, it allowed more than 50000 people to witness the various kinds of spectacles. It had three storeys and 80 arched entrances. Awnings on the top storey protected people from the top sun as they watched the spectacles.
Today, it has a close connection with the Roman church, as on every Good Friday, the Pope leads a procession around the amphitheatre.