The next stop on the tour is the Hypogeum, commonly referred to as the Underground. This area served as the waiting area. Divided into two levels, the areas consisted of a network of tunnels and cages that led to the Arena. The Hypogea played the role of the backstage of the Colosseum, a bustling hub used for the preparation for performances and scene shifts, as well as the transport of props and the care of animals.
The complex tunnel system included tunnels that the Emperor and Vestal Virgins could use for entry and exit, offering direct access to their imperial residence without having to mingle with other spectators. The tiles used in these particular passages boasted intricate decorations, distinguishing them from the rest. The subterranean structure also boasted two grand arches for gladiators to make their dramatic entrances into the arena.
Transporting animals, staging equipment, and even the gladiator to and from the Arena was accomplished using an array of wooden elevators, concealed beneath the amphitheater. These elevators, considered a significant architectural marvel, were equipped with a system of ramps and counterweights, showcasing the Romans' advanced engineering.
The Colosseum Underground, or Hypogeum, is the complex network of tunnels and rooms beneath the arena floor where gladiators and animals were kept before fights. It provides a unique glimpse into the operations behind the grand spectacles of the Colosseum.
Tickets for the Colosseum Underground can be purchased online or at the ticket office at the venue. However, due to high demand, online booking is highly recommended. This will also allow you the chance to select your preferred time slot much in advance.
Yes., your Colosseum Underground Tour includes skip-the-line access to the amphitheatre along with allowing you the chance to visit sections like the Underground and Arena.
No, access to the Colosseum underground is only available through a guided tour. Only two levels of the Colosseum are open for the public to explore on their own.
The Colosseum, including the Underground, was commissioned by Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty, but the hypogeum was added later by Emperor Domitian.
The Colosseum was built between 70-80 AD, but the Underground was added later, approximately ten years after the inauguration of the arena.
The Colosseum Underground is a network of tunnels, rooms, and passageways, including holding cells for gladiators and animals, as well as machinery for lifting them to the arena floor.
Visitors to the Colosseum Underground can explore the labyrinthine tunnels, learn about the logistics of staging the grand gladiatorial games, and gain a deeper understanding of ancient Roman history and culture.
Due to the ancient architecture and irregular terrain, the Colosseum Underground is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible.