It was this DVD recording of a concert of Il Divo that brought The Coliseum back to life for me that very night, after a lapse of more than a decade since my very first visit to The Coliseum in Rome.
Now, courtesy of YouTube, the very song that made a most powerful impact of this architecture for me. Il Divo's Adagio. Listen to it before you read further.
Now, do you see what I mean? Did they not bring IT back to life? I've written earlier on 5 of the New 7 Wonders of The World which I had visited in the past. Colosseum is in fact the first one I visited but the last one I choose to write a review about. Why? Well, I confess. I didn't (& still don't) think that Colosseum deserves to be 1 of the 7 Wonders. That's just me, of course. Personally, I may have chosen Borobudur or Sagrada Familia or Easter Island. However, since the world had chosen on that fateful day, I shall write about it since I had been there long time ago. In fact, on my first visit to Europe as well as "fatefully", Rome was the first city & Colosseum was the first ruin I visited.
Many years after my visit to Rome, the movie "Gladiator" brought meaning back to the Colosseum as did the group Il Divo brought life back! As for me, as hard pressed as I'm, hopefully, I shall bring a little excitement back to this review! The truth & nothing but the truth is that I didn't enjoyed my trip to Italy. It was at a time I had just got my heart broken and you know how that is...
Rome is a city of history. And history has never been my forte.
I'm a person who looks more to the future than to the past. My interest lies in new technology, the latest electronic gadgets (PSP, MP5, iPod, etc... you get the drift). "Star Wars" & the latest sci-fi movies will most probably pique my interest more than movies like "Titanic" & "The Patriot". As many of you may have come to know, human gnome projects interest me more than archaeological excavations. So, I visited Rome at an age when human civilization doesn't mean much to me. Tell you a secret; History & Literature were my worst subjects in school. Yeah, you guessed correctly, my forte: Chemistry & Arithmetic!
THE COLOSSEUM (AMPHITEATRUM FLAVIUM) - Icon of Rome!
Largest amphitheater ever built in Rome: contained about 50,000 spectators.
1) Perimeter= 188 X 156 metres. Inside= 86 X 54 meters. Height= 49 metres.
2) Travertine facade.
3) 4 stories: Lower 3 stories - 80 arches each.
4) Access to seats based on social class, higher up, less important the person.
5) Arena originally covered with wooden flooring which could be removed as required. Area below the arena floor contained cages for the animals, storerooms for gladiators' weapons, machines, etc...
To see the beauty of the Colosseum, one needs to be very interested in history to appreciate the concept of time & humanity.
Colosseum was built in early years of Vespasian's reign (anyone has any idea of when this is? lol... I can't even keep track of U.S. presidents in the last 200 years!). Inaugurated in AD 80... now, you grasp the extent of this? We are talking about 1930 years ago!!!
The Colosseum was built on the site of an artificial lake around which NERO's royal residence was centered.
The purpose? Emperor Vespasian wanted to restore to the Roman people what Nero had tyrannically deprived them of & to provide Rome with a large amphitheater.
Contests known as 'MUNERA' took place in the form of duel between opposing sides & usually until the death of one or the other! At least 10,000 such contests were recorded! Some kind of entertainment :-(((
This building has been restored many times due to:
1) Fire caused by lightning: AD 217, AD 250.
2) Earthquake: AD 429, AD 443.
Abandoned soon after AD 483.
Middle Ages: became a fortress for the Frangipane.
15th Century: transformed into a quarry for blocks of travertine.
Mid 18th Century: consecrated by Pope Benedict XV.
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About the reviewer
I'm a traveler at heart & have been nicknamed Travel Queen by friends & colleagues alike. Traveling has been my life passion for the last decade or so. As we enter a new decade, I'm excited … more
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Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum, its construction started between 70 and 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus, with further modifications being made during Domitian's reign (81–96). The name "Amphitheatrum Flavium" derives from both Vespasian's and Titus's family name (Flavius, from the gens Flavia).
Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. As well as the gladiatorial games, other public spectacles were held there, such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.
It has been estimated[who?] that about 500,000 people and over a...