A Perpetual Symbol – Rome’s Coliseum

One of the most notable destinations of travelers and tourists who pass by Rome is the Coliseum. Rome’s Coliseum is situated in what is often referred to as the “Centro Historico” of the city. If you want to visit the area, you can access it by taking a bus, the metro subway station, a car, or just by walking. If you reach the Stazione Termini of Rome, you will just have to take a 15-minute walk to this prime spot.

Basically, the Coliseum or “colloseo” was constructed during the time of the Emperor Vespasian. His reign was a decade after that of Nero’s and the historic “Great Fire” during 64 A.D. Apparently, the primary purpose for the establishment of this ancient architecture was to create a public center for Roman life after the rapid depreciation of Roman cultural development at that time. Initially, the coliseum was named as “The Flavian Amphitheater”, as a tribute to the ancestors of then Emperor Vespanian.

However, the name was later changed to “Colosseo” during the medieval ages. The new name was derived from the “Colossal”, the bronze statue of Nero which was built near the Coliseum. The place was officially inaugurated by Titus, Vespanian’s son, during the 80 A.D.

Technically, the Coliseum served as a drama amphitheater and “sports” arena for more than the first 500 years of its existence. Although the architecture is definitely something man could boast of, the former “shows” that filled its stage is undeniably disdainful. It staged gladiator fights, violent sporting events and simply “torturing” scenarios mostly comprised of humans being fed to hungry beasts. Although the glorious years of Rome ended in 476 A.D., the place still catered to special events such as animal hunts and drama presentations despite the fact that the gladiator fights ceased.

During the early medieval ages, the Coliseum was then used as a housing establishment. In fact, it was even regarded as a castle during the time of the Frangipani, one of the most influential Roman families that existed in the city.

Another event that left major damages in the historic Coliseum was the great earthquake in the city during the year 1349 A.D. At that time up to the 1800’s, the place was used as a home for the victims of the great disaster who formed a religious community in the old theater. Sometime during the eighteenth century, the Coliseum was then declared as a “sacred” place by Pope Benedict X1V as recognition for the Christian martyrs who shed blood and perished during the early history of Rome. Centuries after, various restorations were made to preserve its beauty.

Through the years of its existence, the place had been subjected to a number of major renovations. The most notable of these repairs and refurnishing was in 217 A.D., after a fire that was caused by lighting. In the nineteenth century, the Coliseum was excavated in order to restore its underground networks. The excavation then revealed a myriad of tunnels and passageways. At that time, it also became one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city with millions of tourists visiting it every year. In the 1990’s, major renovations were again made in order to ease the effects made by stone degradation. At present, many people see the area as a historic symbol opposing capital punishment and death penalty.

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