Marvelling At The Colosseum ArchitectureAncient Engineering | Colosseum Spectacular Seating | Grand Walkways
Emperor Vespasian initiated the construction of the largest amphitheatre in the world and till date, the most visited attraction in the world, the Colosseum.
The Intricacies Of The Colosseum Architecture
The Basics Of The Colosseum Architecture
A structure which stood for close to two millennia and was built in less than 10 years is a marvel in itself. The ellipse-shaped structure measures at 188m (617ft) at this length and while the smaller axis is 156m (512ft). Where the gladiators and animals stood to entertain the enthralling crowds, that area measured 290 feet by 180 feet.
The Colosseum stood at almost 50 metres high. Several varied materials were used in the construction of the structure. The foundation was covered by a travertine layer. The pillars on the first floor were filled with tufa bricks (a variety of limestone) and then firmly anchored with melted metal. In this way, the pillars were raised to the second floor and beyond and since the material used was so strong, the upper and lower levels could be worked on at the same time to complete the construction in record time.
Based on some research, the Colosseum was able to accommodate 50,000-80,000 spectators at any given time. With 80 entries and exits, much planning would have gone to build this structure to accommodate emperors, their senators, special guests, spectators as they watched what was to unfold on the arena floor.
Thanks to the brilliance of the architects, multiple stairways and arches were built within the structure to move the considerable number of people in and out of the building without having the problem of stampedes or overcrowding in one particular spot.
In 847, parts of the Colosseum collapsed – the southern side, due to an earthquake.
Inside The Colosseum
For someone to enter the arena, they required tickets. In ancient Rome, the ticketholder had to sit in a designated area based on their class. There had to go through specific pathways reach their seats. The lower your seating arrangement was, the more valuable you were to the Emperor. There were five levels of seating and the top level was reserved for the poorest of the poor and the lowest level for the senators and important guests of the emperor. The entire design of the colosseum was to provide comfort, yet still control crowds up to 80,000 spectators.
With over 100 fountains and restrooms, the crowd was taken care of. The retractable roofs of today pay homage to the Colosseum which in those times also had a retractable roof, called the Velarium. It was used during the hot days to shade the spectators sitting on the topmost tiers.
The arena floor was wooden supported by wooden poles and covered by sand for the gladiators, animals to display their strength and viciousness. But, the brilliance in engineering was that the poles could be removed as they were temporary fixtures, just like the wooden floors.
Below the grounds of the arena were two levels, the hypogeum. This was an extensive expanse of corridors and tunnels with cellars to keep the animals, gladiators, slaves, equipment, and weapons required for the gory games to be played out on the arena.
Purchase your tickets today and see the magnificent Colosseum Architecture with your own eyes.
Discover What The Emperors Really Thought About The Gladiators. To View The Finest Of Rome Colosseum Architecture, Book Now!
See the amazing engineering feat of the Romans
Other Important Buildings Surrounding The Colosseum
There were important building surrounding the Colosseum which supported the activities which were carried out. The Ludus Magnus was one such building which was a school to train gladiators to fight. Through the underground corridors, the gladiators were able to go train in the school and return via the corridors and be ready when called to fight at the Amphitheatre. There were three other important schools which produced the greatest gladiators, and they were Bestiaries School (Ludus Matutinus – which trained the animals too), Gallic School (Ludus Gallicus), and Dacian School (Ludus Dacicus). Another significant building was the Spoliarium where the bodies of the dead gladiators would be disposed of. Their armour and weapons would generally be returned back to their trainers/training schools. The Sanitarium was used to treat wounded soldiers while the Summum Choragium stored machinery and the Armamentarium stored weapons.
Which Emperor Held The First Games At The Colosseum Which Ran For 100 days?