The Colosseum

The Flavian Amphitheatre, more commonly known as the Colosseum, stands in the archaeological heart of Rome and welcomes large numbers of visitors daily, attracted by the fascination of its history and its complex architecture.

The building became known as the Colosseum because of a colossal statue that stood nearby. It was built in the 1st century CE at the behest of the emperors of the Flavian dynasty. Until the end of the ancient period, it was used to present spectacles of great popular appeal, such as animal hunts and gladiatorial games. The building was, and still remains today, a spectacle in itself. It is the largest amphitheatre in the world, capable of presenting surprisingly complex stage machinery, as well as services for spectators.

A symbol of the splendour of the empire, the Amphitheatre has changed its appearance and its function over the centuries, presenting itself as a structured space but open to the Roman community. (read more)