The Colosseum is an oval structure with a 156m short axis and an 188m long axis. Load-bearing pillars were made of travertine blocks, while exterior walls, staircases, and radial walls were made of tufa blocks and bricks. The construction was strongly supported by arches and vaults. The ground floor was used for exhibitions and games; the upper floors were open air.
The Colosseum stands on Palatine Hill in Rome. It was originally built as a stadium for the annual games held by the emperor Augustus to celebrate his victory over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C. The games lasted for seven days in August and September and were attended by hundreds of thousands of people. The last game played in the Colosseum was in A.D. 549 during the reign of Titus.
After these games were finished, they believed it would be easier to defend the spectators inside the arena rather than outside where animals were killed. So the Colosseum was left empty and it became known as "the sandstone womb".
In A.D. 1587, almost a century after it had been built, the Colosseum was reopened when Spanish royalty visited Rome. This time it was not used for games but instead served as a place where trials by battle could be held before an audience. These trials often ended in death for the defendant.
The Colosseum is a Roman Empire amphitheatre erected in Rome by the Flavian emperors. The Flavian Amphitheatre is another name for it. It is an oval edifice built of stone, concrete, and tuff that reaches four floors tall at its peak. The structure was used for entertainment purposes including sports events and bloodfights.
It has been suggested that the original Colosseum was built around 80 A.D. However, modern scholars generally agree that it was rebuilt after the great fire of 64 A.D. That means that it was originally built between 80 and 24 A.D. Its current height of over 40 meters (130 feet) makes it the highest state-sponsored building in the world. The ancient city of Rome itself was also the highest until the 19th century when it was beaten by several cities in China.
The Colosseum has been described as the most famous architectural project of its time, and its construction is regarded as one of the major achievements in the history of architecture. It has been cited as an inspiration for similar structures such as the Sydney Opera House and the Las Vegas Strip. In 2001, it was listed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site because of its significant value to cultural heritage.
The word "Colosseum" comes from the Latin word colossus, which means "big statue".
To strengthen the strength of the arches, the builders blended Roman concrete with stone (Alchin, n.d.). The Colosseum is surrounded by 80 arches, each 4.2 meters wide and 7.05 meters tall on the base floor and 6.45 meters tall on the higher floors, for a total of four stories (Pepe, n.d.). The arches are made of limestone mixed with sand and gravel to make a hard but lightweight material. They were probably reinforced with wood beams at some point during their history.
The outer walls of the arena are about 20 feet high and made mostly of lapis lazuli, a blue precious stone which comes from Afghanistan. It was used for decorative purposes only; it was not intended as wallboard or insulation. However, it did provide good protection against missiles and other weapons aimed at the spectators.
The interior of the Colosseum is divided into three sections: the open-air arena, the wooden stands, and the ceiling. The arena has an oval shape and covers an area of about 95,000 square feet (8,532 m2). It consists of smooth marble slabs laid out in parallel lines, without any kind of mortar between them. This allowed the wind to pass through the arena easily while still providing solid support for the seats that stood up to 60 feet (18 m) high.
The wooden bleachers were built following a design by Vitruvius and consisted of circular rows of posts with crosspieces connecting them together.
The Colosseum was constructed using travertine stone and tufa, both of which were local, limestone-based stones. Instead of mortar, iron clamps kept the stones together. The outside would have been stunning if it had been coated with marble. There are numerous holes visible all over the stones of the Colosseum, particularly in the interior structure. These are for wood beams that crossed the arena at different levels to divide it into galleries where you could find shade on a hot day.
The whole building was painted red, except for the white area around the upper part of the oval track and the blue area below it. The black color came from burnt animal bones and shells used as fuel during games.
The Colosseum was built over a period of about 12 years. It started as a wooden structure and then was rebuilt as a stone one. The original idea was to use marble but since there was not much water available in Rome at the time, they used other materials instead. After two decades, the state of the art technology allowed them to build the Colosseum in stone. Unfortunately, none of its original paint remains today.
There are many theories about the origin of its name. Some say it comes from the Greek word koloss, which means "toll". Others believe it comes from the Hebrew word qalil, which means "powerful" or "mighty". Yet others think it came from the Persian word kolah, which means "thousand".