Petit Futé
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Results Monuments antiques Rome

Petit Futé's opinion on COLOSSEO (COLISEUM)

Plate millesim 2022

The Flavian amphitheatre was completed in 80's. It hosted the Rome Games, with gladiatorial battles in particular.

The Colosseum is to Rome what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, the symbol of the city, but it is also the largest amphitheatre of antiquity. It was the site of the greatest gladiatorial battles of the Roman era, then served as a residence, before being stripped of its materials, transformed into a place of Christian worship, abandoned, until finally undergoing very slow rehabilitation.

The Golden Age of the Colosseum. The Flavian amphitheatre, named after the dynasty of the emperors who erected it, was the most ambitious project of our era. It was the Emperor Vespasian (69 - 79 AD) who decided on its construction in 72 AD, completed in 80 AD, under the reign of Emperor Titus (39 - 81 AD), his son. Its objective was to provide the city with an amphitheatre worthy of the reputation of the Rome Games, which were held on the Champs de Mars in a temporary building since the great fire. Nearly 100 consecutive days were devoted to its inauguration, resulting in the deaths of dozens of gladiators and nearly 9,000 animals! It was Domitian (81 - 96 AD) who later completed the underground structures and designed the gladiator's barracks (Ludi) on the eastern slope of the valley. But damage was caused, notably by a major fire in 217 AD and earthquakes. It was therefore modified several times until the 6th century. Gladiators' fights, condemned by Christian emperors, were suspended by Honorius and abolished by Valentinian in 438 AD. The last venation took place in the year 523, the beginning of the slow degradation of the Colosseum.

Abandonment and reuse. Initially, the ground floor rooms were transformed into houses, then in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Colosseum was incorporated into the fortress of the Frangipane family. In 1345, an earthquake caused part of the arena to fall, resulting in numerous looting of building materials. The stone blocks were then torn off, the columns dismantled, the bricks recovered, the iron and lead crampons (more than 300 tons) removed, which held the travertine blocks or marble panels welded, which explains the many holes on the brick and stone walls. Many Roman monuments were built with material from the Colosseum, such as St. Peter's Basilica, the Palace of the Cancelleria, St. Mark's Church, to name but a few. Roman humanists of the 15th century claimed its protection, but it was not until 1753 that Pope Benedict XIV, who found it sad to see the monument disappear, banned the exploitation of the Colosseum on the pretext that many Christians had died as martyrs (which is false in practice because persecutions were organised at the Circus Maximus, the great stadium for tank races). But in any case, this has made it possible to preserve the amphitheatre and to organize the Way of the Cross every Good Friday, in the presence of the Pope. Marble coverings and bolster blocks were stolen, as well as everything that could be reused to build elsewhere, especially after earthquakes that destroyed part of Rome in the 14th century. In the same century, a religious order was established there. The building had become imposing, even too imposing, even destroyed in part, in a city that was becoming more attractive in the 17th and 18th centuries. Thus, Pope Clement XI (1649-1721) transformed it into a place of martyrdom for the first Christians. A Way of the Cross was built there.

The restoration. During the Napoleonic campaign of Italy, the Emperor of the French, as a great lover of ancient history, ordered, as in all his travels, that archaeological excavations be carried out there. Only in the 19th century, further excavations were undertaken to uncover the underground structures of the arena, but also major restoration work to restore the "Colossus" to its original state, up to the last, which received considerable media coverage in 2016 thanks to the generous sponsorship (25 million euros) of the Tod's group. The titanic works have made it possible to restore the ambulances, the underground, the north and south facades and bring the entire building up to standard.

Architectural aspect. The Coliseum is 188 m long and 156 m wide, covering an area of 3,357 square metres. The height of its walls rises to 48 m. The central arena measures 86 m by 54 m and is surrounded by a 4.5 m high enclosure. It is of course in travertine, the stone of Rome, that the building was built, mixed with bricks. Three levels of 80 arcades form the exterior façade, framed by semi-columns with Tuscan capitals on the first floor, Ionian on the second and Corinthian on the third. The upper arches housed monumental statues. The interior surface is called cavea, and the underground passages now discovered were covered with a wooden floor that formed the arena in the centre of the rows of tiers. Outside, a very modern system of nearly 80 numbered doors allowed the 73,000 spectators to quickly access the four levels in their place, according to their condition. As was customary in ancient times, on Egyptian or Roman buildings, flagpoles increased the height of the building. At the top, Domitian had a canvas (velarium) made of strips of fabric placed, which a team of 100 sailors pulled to protect the spectators from the sun.

4.7/5 (158 notice)
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Information on COLOSSEO (COLISEUM)

Open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or 7:15 pm depending on the season. Full price 16 €. Ticket coupled with the Forum and the Palatine.

Services offered by COLOSSEO (COLISEUM)

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Members' reviews on COLOSSEO (COLISEUM)

158 reviews
4.7/5
Value for money
Service
Originality
TheAlex
4/5
Visited in april 2022
Value for money
Service
Originality
Un incontournable dans Rome pour ceux qui aiment l'antiquité. L'audioguide et les descriptions affichées au premier niveau permettent de comprendre l'évolution de ce lieu chargé d'histoire.
vero06
5/5
Visited in february 2022
Value for money
Service
Originality
Un incontournable
A visiter absolument ! J'ai beaucoup aimé cette visite ! Le prix du billet (a réservé à l'avance sur internet) comprends le forum antique et le mont Palatin, un incontournable
Bou23
5/5
Visited in december 2021
Value for money
Service
Originality
Belle preuve de l'histoire
Un monument à visiter absolument. Pour un amphithéâtre de 2000 ans, sa conservation est un miracle.
Petit conseil, pas besoin de payer pour accéder aux arènes, ce n'est pas utile.
fute_551046
5/5
Visited in october 2021
Value for money
Service
Originality
Site incontournable de Rome. La visite guidée nous a appris beaucoup de chose sur ce monument. Penser à acheter des billets coupe-file
fute_297531
5/5
Visited in march 2020
Value for money
Service
Originality
L’incontournable
Le Colisée l’incontournable de Rome à ne pas rater. Prendre une coupe fil pour éviter la queue.
fute_6855453
5/5
Visited in september 2019
Value for money
Service
Originality
A ne pas rater
Lieu mythique, à voir absolument si vous êtes de passage à Rome !
Découvrez ou redécouvrez le lieu et l'histoire, vous ne serez pas déçu.
fute_383364
5/5
Visited in february 2020
Value for money
Service
Originality
Le plus bel endroit de Rome
Le colisee, le forum romain et le Palatin sont des lieux qui nous transportent dans le passé. Nous y avons passé la journée entière et ce fut une journée extraordinaire. Le forum romain et le Palatin sont un endroit magnifique bordé de pins parasols. À faire et à refaire à l'infini.
fute_521047
5/5
Visited in august 2019
Value for money
Service
Originality
spectaculaire
magnifique, j'en garde un très bon souvenir. Je conseille d'y aller le matin dès l'ouverture pour éviter de faire la queue trop longtemps.
felixdav
5/5
Visited in october 2019
Value for money
Service
Originality
Un Voyage au temps des romains
Superbe édifice où on peut sentir, avec un peu d’imagination (et avec l’aide de l’audio guide très interessant) , ce que des milliers de gladiateurs on vécu dans l’arène.
Je conseille de réserver bien entendu à l’avance et de planifier la 1ère heure afin d’éviter la foule et de pénétrer dans le monument avec un minimum de personne
fute_268748
5/5
Visited in february 2020
Value for money
Service
Originality
Génial
tout simplement exceptionnel ...
nous n'avions pas réservé les billets en ligne et nos n'avons pas attendu ... nous avons pris les billets pour le colisée et le forum . on y passe facilement la journée tellement c'est impressionnant. les enfants ont adoré aussi
bobo444
4/5
Visited in december 2019
Value for money
Service
Originality
Un voyage d de ans le temps
Un monument impressionnant qui nous plonge dans l’histoire, aussi impressionnant de l’intérieur que de l’extérieur. A faire absolument... petit bemol : les pseudo acteurs déguisés en romains...
fute_243781
5/5
Visited in january 2020
Value for money
Service
Originality
a ne pas rater!
de preference en fin de journee: la lumiere est ideale pour les photos!!
CamilleB27
5/5
Visited in november 2019
Value for money
Service
Originality
Un incontournable !
Que serait Rome sans le célèbre Colisée ?
L'édifice est plus impressionnant encore que vous ne pouvez l'imaginer. Attention cependant, n’hésitez pas à réserver votre visite sur internet si vous ne voulez pas prendre peur devant la queue :). Malgré les nombreux travaux (et touristes), ce lieu chargé d'histoire est magnifique à voir.
AlyAle1991
5/5
Visited in march 2019
Value for money
Service
Originality
super belle visite
Une très belle ville. On a visite les Colosseo et c'était impressionnant pour nous imaginer il y a beaucoup des années comme c'était . Je conseil de prendre les billets en avance par internet car énormément du monde.
AlisonW
5/5
Visited in september 2019
Value for money
Service
Originality
A voir de jour et de nuit !
Si vous voulez visiter l'intérieur et éviter la foule aux caisses vous pouvez prendre un billet combiné à l'entrée du forum romain toute proche, on vous donnera un horaire de passage coupe-file pour le Colisée (horaire imposé). Si vous en avez la possibilité, prévoyez également de revenir pour une balade aux abords du Colisée de nuit, c'est encore plus impressionnant !

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