The construction of this amphitheatre, the largest in Rome, began in 72 AD at the request of Emperor Vespasian.
His two sons, Titus and Domitian, continued his construction, which was completed in 82. At that time the Colosseum was called the Flavian amphitheatre, named after the dynasty of these emperors.
The name Colosseum only appears in the Middle Ages, in reference to the gigantic 35-metre statue of Nero (called a colossus) located next to the amphitheatre.
With its 187 metres long, 155 metres wide and 50 metres high, the Colosseum could accommodate 55,000 spectators eager for shows such as animal or gladiator fights and perhaps even naval battles!
The Colosseum has 4 floors. The first three are supported by columns of the different orders, Doric, Ionic and Corinthian, the fourth is a wall pierced with windows.
At the top, there were still visible growths, allowing a veil to be stretched over the Colosseum to protect spectators from the sun. This sail was maneuvered by a detachment of sailors!
The Colosseum retains this aspect only halfway around its circumference, the rest having suffered the ravages of time, earthquakes and the reuse of stones for other monuments.
Inside, the bleachers were organized in such a way as to distinguish social classes. The first level was reserved for the emperor and the Senate, the second for the aristocrats and the third, itself divided, welcomed the population.
The arena, on the other hand, had a wooden floor covered with sand.
Below many galleries housed the menageries and various equipment necessary for the proper functioning of the Colosseum.
Located next to the Colosseum, the Arc de Constantin was built in 315 to commemorate Constantine's victory over Maxentius.
This very beautiful triumphal arch, with three arches, is richly decorated, most of which are from other monuments.