Wednesday Wander – The Coliseum, Rome

Coliseum 3 Arguably one of the world’s most recognisable structures, and one upon which modern stadiums are based, this is The Coliseum, in Rome. The scale of the building is quite extraordinary, considering it was built two millennia ago, as is the fact it is still standing after all this time. Much of the damage is due to man, rather than time, the Coliseum being used as a source for building materials once it had fallen out of use.

Coliseum 2I visited Rome over twenty years ago now, just a blink of an eye in the life of this building. From outside you can see the different arched levels, as well as get an idea of the scale – it’s not hard to imagine how it would have been in its heyday, when gladiators battled and lives were lost on the turn of an emperor’s thumb.

Coliseum 1

This is a shot across what would have been the floor of the arena. The wooden floor is now long gone, and the walls are the remains of the rooms where gladiators, animals and prisoners would have waited, before being sent out to the mercy of the crowds. In the top right hand corner of the photograph, a cross is just visible – this is a memorial to the Christians martyred in the arena. When we were there, a small crowd of people gathered in front of this cross and started to sing. Everyone else fell silent, listening as the ancient stones echoed with a lament for the dead, the acoustics carrying it up and out of the arena. It was a beautiful moment in a remarkable place.

Thank you for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!

16 thoughts on “Wednesday Wander – The Coliseum, Rome

  1. I’ve visited it a couple of times, and took my family a few years’ ago. Like you, I couldn’t believe the scale of it. Until I visited, I didn’t realise it was so ruined because it had been raided. Much of the marble for the Vatican came from the Coliseumβ€”I guess it could be labelled ‘recycling’!

    • Yes, it’s mad when you think about it, isn’t it? I can’t imagine going somewhere like that and saying ‘well, we’ll just take all that away and use it to build something else.’ I suppose our desire to preserve our history is something fairly new. In St Albans, just near to us, the famous Cathedral was built from the ruins of the Roman town that stood on the site previously.
      And yes, the size of the Coliseum! It must have been a wonder of the world in its time. πŸ™‚ I’d like to go back and take my family as well, as neither of them have been to Italy.

      • Oh, tell them they must see Italy before they die!
        I think you’re right about preserving history being only a recent thing. Same with preserving nature, alas. πŸ˜‰

      • Yes, too little too late, sadly. It seems as though the Reef is on its last legs. Humans are really great at hindsight, not so good at the foresight thing.

    • Wow, lovely place for a honeymoon! The Forum is magnificent, isn’t it? In fact, the history underlying the whole city is quite mindblowing πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed the post x

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