17 Interesting Facts About the Colosseum
The Colosseum, which was originally named Flavian Amphitheater, is the most impressive building of the Roman Empire and the largest building of the era. It is also considered as the greatest work of Roman architecture and engineering.
Here are some interesting facts about the Colosseum.
1.) The Colosseum was built by Emperor Vespasian, founder of the Flavian dynasty, for Titus, his successor.
2.) Colosseum is an elliptical building measuring 189 meters long and 156 meters wide with a base area of 24,000 m² with a height of more than 48 meter.
3.) It has about 80 entrances and can accommodate 50,000 spectators.
4.) Construction of this huge edifice started in 72 CE and was completed in 80 CE.
5.) In 847, the southern side of the Colosseum collapsed because of a devastating earthquake.
6.) The marble façade and some parts of the Colosseum were used for the construction of St Peter’s Basilica and later monuments.
7.) The Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as animal hunts, mock sea battles, re-enactments of famous battles, executions and dramas.
8.) During the inaugural games of the Colosseum in 80 CE held by Titus, some 9,000 wild animals were slaughtered.
9.) In 107 CE, Emperor Trajan is said to have celebrated his victories in Dacia with contests involving 11,000 animals and 10,000 gladiators within 123 days.
10.) It is estimated that the games played in the Colosseum for hundreds of years have taken the lives of about 500,000 people and over a million wild animals.
11.) The last gladiatorial fights occurred in 435 CE and the last animal hunts stopped in 523 CE. It was primarily due to the cost of procuring animals and gladiators and maintaining the expensive facility.
12.) More than 100,000 cubic meters of travertine stone were used for the outer wall of Colosseum which was set without mortar held together by 300 tons of iron clamps.
13.) Colosseum was built near the giant statue of Colossus which was part of the Nero’s Park. The current name was derived from the statue of Colossus.
14.) Based on historical evidences, it shows that 200 bullock carts were used to transport marbles to the construction site.
15.) The total amount of marbles used for the construction of the Colosseum was estimated at 100,000 cubic meters.
16.) Receiving millions of visitors every year, the Colosseum is the most famous tourist attraction of Rome.
17.) Elton John, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney and Ray Charles were some of the few famous singers that performed at the Colosseum.