Built in 72 AD, the Colosseum represents the unmatchable craftsmanship of the early Romans. Millions of builders, architects, engineers, artists, and painters made incredible contributions to make a structure that would mesmerize onlookers even after thousand nine hundred and fifty years.
It is impossible to know who were the architects of the Colosseum as many architects were involved in the process. Historians have also left out their names, but credit has always been given to three important kings from the Flavian dynasty.
When Emperor Nero came into power, the area where the Colosseum was built, officially called Domus Aurea, actually belonged to the people. He declared the area his own and used it to build a grand statue of himself with gardens, an artificial lake, and pavilions. King Vespasian, who succeeded Nero, wanted to give back to the people something that would make them happy. He chose the Domus Aurea as his venue to build the Colosseum. Under his rule, the construction of the Colosseum began with the help of skilled artists, craftsmen, engineers, builders, painters, and laborers.
At the time of King Vespasian’s death in 79 AD, three tiers were completed. His successor and son, King Titus, added the fourth tier. The fourth tier of the Colosseum was used for seating the common folks of the city. He inaugurated the Colosseum in 80 AD with inaugural games. These games became an annual activity, lasting for 100 days. These games included gladiator combats, public execution of criminals, animal fights, simulated naval battles, hunting, theatre, and other recreational activities for the entertainment of the people.
King Titus’s brother and successor, King Domitian, completed the gallery and the underground tunnels known as the Hypogeum. The gallery was added to accommodate the poor people, women, and slaves who could witness the annual games. There were no seats made for this section. Audiences had to stand and watch the games from here. The Hypogeum is a series of underground tunnels and trapdoors where war criminals, slaves, and ferocious beasts were kept. They were released into the arena through trapdoors to fight gladiators.
The Colosseum was built in the Ancient Roman Architectural style. Construction took about seven to eight years, making it one of the largest and most complex structures. The columns were built using three different styles.
The doric style was used for the ground floor columns where the wealthiest Romans used to sit. The second-tier columns were built in the Ionic style. The third-tier columns, made for the common people, were made in Corinthian style.
It has 80 gates in total, each with an arch. 76 gates were used by the people, while 3 were reserved for noblemen and councilmen of the state. The Emperor used the North Gate, which had a distinct arch, to enter the premises. The entire structure was built using different stones held together by iron clamps.
The Colosseum was built using a variety of ancient Roman stones that were held together with cement and iron clamps. Tuff, Travertine limestone, wood, tiles, bricks, and blocks of tufa were used to build the amphitheater. It also had a marble covering that was later used to build different buildings and structures throughout Rome.
The building had two walls, inner and outer. The latter was severely damaged in the earthquake of 1349, which is why only parts of the outer wall can be seen today. The different entry points were built so the entire premises could be entered and exited within 15 minutes. It was built in an elliptical shape to make viewing possible from all seats. The gallery above the 4th tier was added by King Domitian, who made sure that people could view the arena clearly while standing.
Although it is partially visible now, the Outer Wall of the Colosseum was built using tufa, travertine limestone, cement, and other stones held together by iron clamps. When built, it completely covered the arena and the seats in an elliptical shape. The Outer Wall is only partially intact now because half of it collapsed in the earthquake of 1349. It was further damaged by natural disasters, pollution over the years, and vandalism. Its height is about 48 meters, and about 3.5 meters thick.
There are a total of 80 arches in the Colosseum, 76 of which were used by the people to enter and exit the premises. The wealthy class of ancient Rome used 3 gates, while the Emperor and his troupe used the North Gate. It is supported by columns made using different styles across all the tiers of the Colosseum. These gates were built so people could enter and exit the Flavian Amphitheatre in just 15 minutes without causing any stampede.
The first tier of the Colosseum was built for the wealthy class of ancient Rome. The columns used were built in Doric style, with some seats engraved with the names of the people who sat there. These inscriptions have diminished over the years, but you will still be able to see ancient carvings below some of the seats. The first tier is closest to the arena, giving the audience a clear view of the proceedings of the annual game. Right underneath this tier, the Hypogeum was built by King Domitian.
Classism played a huge role in the seating arrangement at the Colosseum. The noblemen and respected classes were given seating on the second tier. The columns in this tier were built using the Ionic style. People would use staircases to reach the seats there. During medieval times, workers used to set up workshops below the seats in this tier.
This tier was open to the public. The columns here were built in Corinthian style, but it was less elaborate than the other two tiers. While all the seats inside the Colosseum gave a clear view of the arena floor, the third tier and above provided the least amount of visibility. There was some damage to the third tier during the earthquakes and other natural disasters, but it has managed to survive.
A. The Colosseum architectural style is Ancient Roman Architecture that is common among structures built in that era.
A. Colosseum architecture is famous because it was built in the Ancient Roman style and has withstood natural and man-made disasters through 1950 years.
A. King Vespasian wanted to gift the Roman people an amphitheatre where they could enjoy games after the mishaps that had plagued the Roman empire in the early centuries.
A. The Colosseum was built in 72 AD and was completed by 81 AD.
A. The Colosseum is 1,950 years old.
A. The exterior of the Colosseum looks like a series of arches used by the audience to enter and exit the premises. It was built using travertine limestone, tuff, stones, tiles, cement and iron clamps.
A. The Colosseum is 2 hectares in area, including the interior and the outer wall.
A. The Colosseum is 620 by 513 feet and could accommodate 65,000 people in its glory days.
A. The Colosseum is made from travertine limestone, tuff, stones, cement, iron clamps, marble and lime.
A. You can buy tickets to the Colosseum outside the venue and online. As it is visited by 6 million people every year, it is best to purchase Colosseum tickets online.