The Colosseum is also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre (its original name), and it is one of the greatest symbols of Rome and Italy. In 2007, it was added to the list of the 7 New Wonders of the World. The construction of the Colosseum started under the emperor of Vespasian in 72 AD and ended during the reign of his son, Titus in 80 AD.
The Colosseum was used for gladiator games and it is estimated to have held about 70,000 spectators during one single game. It was also used for other spectacles such as mock battles, animal hunts, actings of previous battles, dramas and executions. After the medieval era, it was used for workshops, housing, a Christian shrine, as a fortress and for other religious purposes.
At one point during the 16th century, the role of the Colosseum was going to change and be turned into a wool factory with the purpose of providing employment for prostitutes. However, after the Pope’s death, the idea fell through and instead, it was to be used for bullfights but the people protested against the idea.
It wasn’t until the 18th century that Pope Benedict XIV declared the Colosseum a sacred site and its use for any other purpose that wasn’t religious became forbidden. He consecrated several structures where he believed Christians had been martyrized and executed (although there is no historical evidence of this occurrence).
Today, the Colosseum represents the abolishment of capital punishment. The Colosseum’s illumination changes into a golden color when a person who received death penalty anywhere in the world gets released or if a state or country abolished the death penalty.
The structure is not used to host events anymore due to its ruined state and as a way to protect it. However, many concerts have been held just outside including Elton John’s, Paul McCartney’s, Billy Joel’s, and more.
It was constructed out of concrete and stone and till date, it is considered one of the greatest achievements in architecture and engineering.
Metro station: Colosseum (blue line)