The most curious facts about the Colosseum that perhaps you don’t know and how to learn more and enjoy at best this World Heritage.
Known also as the Flavian Amphitheater, the Colosseum is with no doubt one of the most popular and stunning symbols of Rome and of Italy all over the world.
Even if you have never been to Italy yet, you must have seen some pictures of this amazing Roman construction while surfing the web or in some of the postcards your beloved have sent to you in the past.
If you are planning your trip to Rome, maybe it’s high time to book a Maya Tours Vatican and Colosseum private tour, to have the possibility of seeing it in all its splendor… and most hidden secrets!
But let’s make this World Heritage more interesting by listing some facts and anecdotes concerning this ancient Rome Masterpiece, also listed among the New 7 Wonders of the World.
A matter of dimension
First of all, its dimensions. If up to now you have seen the Colosseum just on a postcard, maybe you haven’t had the true perception of its hugeness. It’s really amazing! With its 189 meters of length and 156 meters of width, the Colosseum covers an area of 24,000 square meters.
Moreover, once you lift your eyes you will admire its over 48 meters height. Its shape and its dimensions are really stunning.
A matter of time
Above all, if you consider that it was built in just 5 years from 75 to 80 AD, you can figure out how important this place was for the Roman Empire and the place it had in the romans imagination.
A matter of materials
The original facade was made up of travertine, a really expensive marble that later would have been stolen to build up other buildings around Rome, including St Peter’s Basilica.
What’s more, for many centuries the Colosseum was completely neglected, and its current look does not correspond at all to the original one.
In the name of the fathers
Its present common name is not the original one. The name Colosseum comes from the Middle Ages, referring to its position, close to a big statue of Nero.
Originally it was known as Flavian Amphitheater, after the name of the dynasty that had it built.
A secret forest…
Another thing you may not know about the Colosseum is that, during the centuries of neglect and abandonment, from the fall of the empire to the modern age, it has been literally invaded by wild plants, some of which really unusual in the Mediterranean area, such as several species of exotic plants, due to the particular microclimate, still objects of study by botanists and experts coming from all over the world.
Some macabre secret
Because of the many people that unfortunately died here during the gladiators’ battles, this was considered one of the gates to hell (but this credence is from the Middle Age, when this place was also considered a pagan symbol), a place where spirits hunted and wandered at night.
Moreover, being a totally abandoned place for many years, many brigands came here to bury corpses after a murder.
What the Colosseum was originally used for
Leaving aside numbers and false oddities related to its use, included Christians sacrifices, something that truly never happened here, you must be curious to know what the Colosseum was originally used for: ship battles!
The so called “nauromachie”, made this huge structure become like a “private lake” of the Emperors!
For this purpose, the Amphitheater was filled in with water: a process that used to take up to 7 hours! The nauromachia show must have been really unusual, nevertheless this kind of entertainment was less interesting than the more famous and spectacular games with gladiators and wild animal fights, which managed to gather thousands of Romans.
The list of things you may not know about the Colosseum is still quite long, that’s why I suggest you to book a guided tour to manage to get the most of it: your guide will take you back to the past times, and show you the most uncommon corners of the ancient Roman arena, but also take you for a walk on the Palatine Hill, from which you will admire Nero’s Circus Maximus, the Roman Forum and other monuments, and fall in love once for all with the Eternal City.