More on the Colosseum in Rome
Colosseum was built between 70 and 72 CE during the reign of Vespasian. It is located just east of the Palatine Hill, on the grounds of what was Nero’s Golden House. The artificial lake that was the centrepiece of that palace complex was drained, and the Colosseum was sited there.
Inside, the Colosseum had seating for more than 50,000 spectators. Awnings were unfurled from the top story in order to protect the audience from the hot Roman sun as they watched gladiatorial combats, hunts, wild animal fights and larger combats such as mock naval engagements. Gladiators were generally slaves, condemned criminals or prisoners of war.
Preservation of the Colosseum began in the 19th century, with notable efforts led by Pius VIII, and a restoration project was undertaken in the 1990s. It has long been one of Rome’s major tourist attractions, receiving close to seven million visitors annually.