The Colosseum is a famous landmark located in the center of the city of Rome, Italy. The amphitheatre was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It was also included in the recently announced New Seven Wonders of the World by Swiss corporation – New Open World Corporation (NOWC).
The Colosseum is widely considered as one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman Engineering. It was said that its construction started in 70AD and was completed in 80AD. Once capable to house around 80,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiator contests and public spectacles such as animal hunts, reenactments of famous battles, dramas and many others.
Today, the Colosseum stays partially ruined due to damage caused by several earthquakes in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. However the main reason why it is such a ruin is a result of stone pillaging from the 5th century onwards. The Roman Empire collapsed in the 5th century and since the arena was no longer used for big events, people began to take the stones to rebuild the city. Nonetheless, the Colosseum today is still a major tourist attraction as well as icon for the city of Rome. It also features in Italian 5-cent coin.
Discover the engineering secrets behind Rome’s Colosseum with the following National Geographic clip.