2Probably the best known structure in all of Rome is the Colosseum Probably the best known structure in all of Rome is the Colosseum. In this building, long ago, the Romans played all types of games and held many shows. Some of these games included gladiatorial combats and wild beast hunts. In this huge building, there were numerous entrances, broad corridors, stairways, carefully planned passages of access, and six tiers of seats where the audience could watch comfortably. Underneath the Colosseum, there were huge rooms so they could place all of their storage in a well guarded area. But alas, the great Colosseum went down during the 13th and 14th century because of violent earthquakes. These earthquakes shook a considerable part of the outer arcade and there was a great heap of fallen material for many years. But earthquakes are not the only things that helped to ruin the Colosseum. Pollution and human mistreatment have also had a role in breaking apart this architectural wonder.All that remains of the Colosseum today is the skeletal ruins of the once great amphitheatre. Visitors can take a guided tour of the Colosseum and see the remains of the underground cages and cells where the animals and gladiators were held when the floor was still on the Colosseum. Sit in the spectator seats and try to image what it would have been like 2,000 years ago to attend an event in the amphitheatre.
3When it was first built, the arena could be filled with water and mock naval battles enacted. However, this was not good for the floor or the foundations, and the water was drained away. Gladiatorial contests replaced the mock battles. These were fierce combats to the death involving men and wild animals. One of the engineering marvels of the Colosseum was the coloured awning that could be spread overhead in hot weather. The wooden flooring of the arena is now gone, and today we can see the rooms under the flooring where the gladiators and wild animals were kept, waiting for their contests.Most shows in the Colosseum lasted all day. The morning events were comedies or animal shows, and the gladiator events were in the afternoon.Thousands of men and animals were killed during the time these contests were held. The Colosseum's opening ceremony was in A.D 80, and lasted 100 days. Gladiator contests were stopped by the Emperor Honorius in A.D 404, although animal combats continued for another hundred years.Wild cats such as lions and leopards were captured by the thousand for animal contests. Often gladiators had to fight wild animals such as lions or leopards. The animals were starved for three days before the contest. The animal was pushed from a dark room into the blinding sunshine of the arena. If the animal killed the gladiator, it was then killed in another show by a man trained to kill wild animals. Some animals were trained to do tricks in animal shows, but the vast majority died in the arena. It is estimated that over a million wild animals were killed in contests at the Colosseum. By the time the animal shows were stopped, entire species of animals had disappeared from their native habitats.
4The games in Rome are known today as the bloodiest exhibitions of public entertainment known to mankind. Men, women and children flocked to the Colosseum to watch the bloodthirsty fighter's murder one another. They even cheered them on and screamed for them to kill a warrior lying almost dead on the ground. The gladiators had no problem killing one another because being a gladiator was an occupation for social outcasts and barbaric men.The gigantic Colosseum, built around 80 AD, seated 50,000 people. The people came from all over the Roman Empire and regions of Africa, Italy, and Rome. The games became a way of entertaining the wealthy, as well as the common people. Most would set all day and watch as men fought with one another and also with animals such as lions, bears, and even buffaloes.The games continued from dawn to dusk and lasted over a period of many days. The imperial games would sometimes exhibit thousands of pairs of gladiators in a sequence that could last for several months. The gladiatorial sports continued until the early 5th century AD.The Gladiatorial games could last from ten to twelve days each year and accommodate Saturnalia, a festival celebrating the god Saturn. This was held at the time of the winter solstice with a huge celebration of great feasting and merrymaking. Signs were made up to announce the great event and Heralds proclaimed it in the streets.In the morning, spectators could see battles fought between wild beast. One might see bears, buffaloes, lion's elephants and rhinoceros, all fighting against each other. After wounding each other for awhile the spectators would become bored so archers would shoot the exhausted animals with arrows from the stands. By using these animals in such a way the Romans managed to wipe out thousands of animals and either captured or drove away entire species. Now, the hippopotamuses were no longer seen in Egypt, lions disappeared from Assyria and elephants no longer lived in northern Africa.Today the Colosseum stands in ruins and is still visited by thousands each year. No longer are the fearless gladiators performing and the wild animals are safe from the once famous games.
5After touring the Colosseum, many visitors also take in the nearby Roman Forum, where all decisions of the Roman government were made with the help of Roman citizens. You can stroll past the Arch of Constantine, built in 315 AD to commemorate the victory of the Empire Constantine over Maxentius. Constantine would go on to become the first Christian emperor of Rome.Rome is an ancient city, and like an old warrior, it proudly displays its history to those who care to see it. No visit to Italy would be complete with out a visit to the Colosseum in the center of what once was the capital city of greatest empire of ancient Europe.
6The Colosseum isn’t used today because is too fragile and fragmented, and it's also too historically significant to withstand being used as a modern-day stadium. Because of the ruined state of the interior, it would be impractical to use the Colosseum to host large events. Small low-key events, with only a small number of spectators accommodated in temporary seating have on occasion been held within the interior, but beyond that no other events are held within the Colosseum itself.But the Colosseum is still used for some special events. Last may the famous singer Andrea Bocelli Performed inside the ancient amphitheatre. In 2003 also Paul Mc Cartney sang inside the arena only for 400 people. These events are are..usually the colosseum is open to the public only as a public monument to visit.