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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Colosseum In Rome: Rome's Greatest Stadium

By John Roney

The Colosseum was commissioned by the Emperor Vespasian between 70 and 72 AD and was completed in 80 AD by his son Domitian. It was built on a marshy site of a lake near the site of Nero's enormous palace. There was a colossus (a very tall statue) of Nero nearby, from which legend says the Colosseum's name was originated from, later destroyed in the great fire of Rome.

It is known that the construction of the Coliseum was started by Emperor Vespasian (the first emperor of the Flavian Dynasty) around 72 AD. The funding for this undertaking came from the ransacking of Jerusalem. It took 8 years before its completion in 80 AD which was after Vespasian's death.

The building of the Colosseum is elliptically shaped and measures 188 meters by 156 meters. It is four stories high and reaches a height of more than 48 meters. During its heyday, it was able to accommodate 55,000 spectators, who entered the building through a choice of 80 entrances. There was also a massive awning (velarium) which protected the audience from the sun. Originally, the facade of the Colosseum was covered in marble, but throughout the years it has been removed and used in the construction of other iconic buildings, including St. Peter's Basilica. The south facing side unfortunately fell victim to a devastating earthquake around 847AD.

The Colosseum was primarily built to entertain the Roman public with games that comprised of comical acts and exotic animal exhibitions, and finished with fights to the death between either animals and gladiators or gladiators against gladiators. The games were also used to increase the emperor's popularity and were also a symbol of power. As mentioned above, the Colosseum is located at the heart of the historical center of Rome. A prime location to be based for exploring this amazing city on foot. Also next to the Colosseum are the ancient ruins of the Roman Forum, and slightly further afield you will find Piazza Venezia and the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Therefore, accommodation in and around this area is very popular and there is a selection of various establishments to choose from, two of which are mentioned below.

3 star equivalent Imperial Rooms Rome is an Italian type of bed and breakfast that is family run and lies just a stone's throw from the Colosseum In Rome. Guest rooms have been carefully decorated in a classic Venetian style and a large selection of creature comforts are available to ensure you have an unforgettable stay. WRH Suites Rome comes highly recommended and is an Italian style guest house. It is slightly further away from the Colosseum, but is still ideally located in the historic center, close to Termini Station, St. Mary Major and the Colosseum. The interior is modern and comfortable and the friendly staff will gladly attend to any of your needs.

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