What's Inside the Colosseum in Rome? | Undeground, Arena, Levels
What's the Colosseum?
A standing example of early man's brilliance, the Colosseum was a Roman amphitheatre built in 72 AD. Built by Emperor Vespasian, the monument could at one time seat 65,000 people and was used as the venue for the ancient gladiator combats.
Today, it is the most popular tourist spot in Rome, Italy, attracting about 6 million people annually. If you're planning to visit Rome anytime soon, add the Colosseum to your itinerary. Read on to find out what you can expect to see inside the Colosseum during your visit.
What’s Inside the Colosseum?
Highlights Inside The Colosseum in Rome
The Colosseum was a gift for the Roman people by Emperor Vespasian. When it was inaugurated, the annual games began in the arena where gladiator combats, animal games, theatre and criminal executions were held annually. Reenactments of great battles in history and simulated forests to act like backdrops for hunting games and naval games were also held at the arena. The arena is where all the action took place. It has seen the deaths of many gladiators and war criminals. To access this area, you will need special tickets that you can buy online.Colosseum Arena Tours
King Vespasian passed away before completing the Colosseum. Titus, his son and successor, added the fourth floor while his brother, Domitian, added a balcony and underground tunnels called Hypogeum. The Hypogeum was used extensively during the games, with gladiators, war criminals and animals entering the arena from here. While this claim is contested, it has also been suggested by historians that the Hypogeum used to be filled with water to stage naval battles. However, the walls are not waterproof, and there are many exits from which the water could get out.Colosseum Underground Tours
The trap doors are a part of the Colosseum Hypogeum tour. These were built to cage wild animals like bears, boars, wolves, lions and tigers that were made to fight with gladiators and war criminals. The trap doors and elevators were raised to the arena floor and released once their opponent entered the arena. These were built by Domitian, King Titus's younger brother, who built the whole Hypogeum. In total, there were 36 trap doors built to cage all kinds of wild animals.
The first tier of the Colosseum was reserved for the king, his family, councilmen and noblemen of Ancient Rome during the annual games and other ceremonies held at the Flavian Amphitheatre. This is the closest seating to the arena, where all the participants fought. Doric columns were used to decorate the first tier and some seats were engraved with the names of the people who sat there. However, with time, the carvings have disintegrated.
The second tier of the Colosseum was reserved for the wealthy class of ancient Rome. Today, it has an exhibition of the history of the Colosseum where you can learn more about the gladiator combats, the foundation of the Colosseum and the many eras it has witnessed. Make sure you don't skip visiting the area as there is a lot you can learn about ancient Rome and its people here.
Before his death, King Vespasian had completed the three tiers of the Colosseum as a gift for the people of Rome. The first tier was reserved for the king, his family and councilmen. The second tier had seating for the wealthy class. The third tier is where all the common folk saw annual games from. The third tier offers a spectacular view of the insides of the Colosseum, with the arena visible clearly.
As the name suggests, the Gladiator's Gate is where gladiators used to enter the arena for combat. It lies on the arena floor above the Hypogeum, where beasts were caged to fight gladiators. The Gladiator's Gate was not open to the public at that time. But, today, you can enter through the gate and step out on to the stand, and pretend like the entire arena is cheering you on!
The Emperor's Box
King Vespasius had planned the Colosseum with architects, builders and engineers before starting the construction. It was built so brilliantly that people could enter and exit the premises within 15 minutes before and after the annual games. There were 76 entrances built, 72 of which were used by the common folk. Three entrances were reserved for the noblemen, and one entrance led to the Emperor's Box for the king, his family and councilmen. This area provides the best view of the arena and has a cross laid by the Pope in the 16th century in honor of the Christians martyred there.
Can I Go Inside the Colosseum?
All areas of the Colosseum are accessible. However, every area has different entry tickets. The first tier, the Hypogeum, the Gladiator's Gate and other parts of the underground tunnel have special access tickets. The second tier has its own ticket and audiobooks that give you more information about the history of the Colosseum. The third tier has tourist guides that help you understand why the Colosseum is an important monument in history, along with the entrance to the Eros museum. Most tickets also include a visit to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. You can buy these tickets at the venue, but it is best advised to get them online. The Colosseum is visited by 6 million people each year. You might lose a lot of time standing in line for the tickets.
Book Colosseum Entry Tickets
- Always buy your Colosseum tickets online. The Colosseum is an extremely popular tourist destination. If you wait to get your tickets from the venue directly, you might waste a lot of time.
- The Colosseum is mostly wheelchair accessible, other than areas like Gladiator's Gate, where you might face some difficulty. But you can get help if needed.
- To have a wholesome and enriching experience, book a guided tour to understand the history and significance of this magnificent monument.
- Large luggage is not prohibited inside the Colosseum. You can carry a small backpack which will be checked by security.
- Deodorant sprays, glass and plastic bottles are prohibited inside the Colosseum. Do not carry them during your visit.
Frequently Asked Questions About What's Inside Colosseum
A. A. The Colosseum is divided into different tiers, underground tunnels and the arena where the annual games were held during ancient Rome.
A. Yes, you can take guided tours of the Colosseum, where you can learn more about the monument's history and its purpose in the early centuries.
A. The Colosseum was built on an artificial lake and covers an area of 2 hectares. It could seat 65,000 people at one point.
A. Some must-see highlights inside the Colosseum are the Emperor's Box, the Gladiator's Gate, Arena, the Hypogeums and the three tiers that served different purposes.
A. You can visit the Eros museum on the top tier, along with Gladiator's Gate and underground tunnels, which were used extensively for gladiator combat.
A. You can learn about the history of the Colosseum, walk through tunnels that gladiators once used, visit the Emperor's Box and witness the grandiosity of ancient Rome with your own eyes.
A. Yes, entry inside the Colosseum to the different tiers, gates, underground tunnels and the arena is allowed. However, each area has its own ticket.
A. Entry inside the Colosseum is ticketed except on the first Sunday of every month. You might still need a ticket to access specific areas of the monument. You can purchase your ticket here.
A. Yes, you can take pictures inside the Colosseum. However, carrying tripods and other professional photography equipment will need special permissions.
A. Entry inside the Colosseum is not free except on the first Sunday of every month and other days of national importance. You can buy entry tickets to Colosseum online.
A. Going inside the Colosseum is definitely worth it, as the whole building is a marvel in itself. Despite being 1950 years old, it is a well-preserved proof of the brilliance of ancient men.
A. All the tiers face the main arena floor where annual games were held. All the people were there to witness these games, which is why there are no floors inside the Colosseum.
A. At the highest time of its glory, the Colosseum could fit about 65,000 people. Entry and exit were possible in 15 minutes, with 76 gates spread across the structure.
A. The Colosseum opens at 8:30 AM and closes at 4:30 PM. During winter, the closing hours can extend to 7:00 PM.