The Roman Coliseum
The Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheatre, erected in the 1st century, was the largest amphitheatre built during the Roman Empire. Initially known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, so called because its construction began during the Flavian dynasty, it came to be known as the Colosseum because next to it was the statue of Nero, The Colossus, which has now disappeared.
It was used for gladiatorial fights and many other public events such as naumachias (shows in which a naval battle or the watershed where it took place was represented), animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles and plays based on classical mythology for five centuries, the last games in history being those performed in the 6th century. Its original capacity was 65,000 spectators.
Later it was used as a shelter, factory, headquarters of religious organisations, fortress, quarry. The latter due to the fact that a large amount of material was extracted from its ruins for other buildings.
Later it was converted into a Christian sanctuary, which prevented it from being plundered. Today it is one of the main attractions of beautiful Rome.
In 1980 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 2007 it was recognised as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
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