Monday, October 27, 2008

The Colosseum


I was surprised that many of the famous historical sites are not set atop a grassy hill like I imagined, but rather are squeezed in among the busy city streets and apartment buildings. They are part of the background of everyday life. My first view of the Colosseum was from inside an insanely swerving taxi. We came screeching around a busy corner and there it was towering above us. It honestly made me gasp, and then the taxi driver paused from his phone call and looked up from the planner balanced on his knee to tell us what we were looking at. Amazing.


The facade of the Colosseum is pocked with holes. A guide explained that this structure was once covered with marble, and decorated inside with columns and statues, but all those things were ransacked and removed hundreds of years ago to be used in other buildings and upperclass homes, leaving it permanently scarred.



What you are looking at in this photo is what is left of the Colosseum. This building was built in 4 years by 40,000 slaves and was completed in 80 a.d. It once seated around 50,000 spectators and has been estimated to have housed the public deaths of somewhere between 500,000 and 750,000 gladiators, criminals and slaves. I always thought that these events took place on a dirt floor, however they actually constructed tunnels and cells below a wooden floor (which has been partially reconstructed to show were it was).

Too much information? Sorry if it is, I was just so excited to learn all this stuff!
Posted by Picasa

11 comments:

skcoe said...

I think it's FASCINATING. If I had even ONE spare wall to hang something on I'd have you make me a 16x20 of that top picture, it is BEAUTIFUL!!!

Keep giving us the history lessons, I'm all ears!

Croft Family said...

Wow sounds amazing. I hope one day to get there but until then I will be amazed by your pictures and stories or your visit.

Treasure said...

Totally cool!! I love learning all of the cool history so I really dig all the info. Thanks!!

Brandy and Dave said...

You could be a history professor! All the information was great...now don't you want to watch all the movies about Rome and the Coloseum?

We rented a car and drove from Venice to Rome. Dave did a great job of driving and navigating, but my mom and sister-in-law were freaking out about all the hectic stopping, starting, and turning. Driving in Europe is definitely different than here!

Bryan and Marissa said...

Your trip looks amazing!!! I sm so jealous!

Sara Jane said...

I'm glad you had such a good time. The info was perfect. Makes me want to pack my bags and head for Italy!

audge said...

Wow...that is so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. I think I am just going to have to live out my dream through your blog.

Marisa Jean said...

I actually never knew that, so I'm glad that you shared. How incredible. The people at the bottom of the last people look like ants compared to this monstrosity.

The UnMighty said...

Just reading this makes me want to fight angry tigers.

Jocelyn said...

I bet you guys had so much fun!!! The pictures are beautiful. You guys look really happy.

mae said...

I'm glad you had such a perfect trip! The pictures are lovely and the history is fantastic-you big nerd! Thanks for sharing it! Congrats on being hitched for 10 years! You guys are so cute together and I love how in love you are!