Colosseum (70 AD)
Elliptical Amphitheatre in the Centre of Rome
The Colosseum, whose construction was initiated by the Emperor Vespasian around 72AD, is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is, of course, one of Rome’s most famous buildings, attracting tens of thousands of tourists each year, who marvel at one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. During the time of the Roman Empire, the Colosseum was the primary stage for gladiatorial combat and public spectacle; Roman culture centred around the activities undertaken within. Aside from the gladiatorial battles that have been immortalized in modern literature and cinema, the Colosseum also housed dramas based on Classical mythology, reenactments of battles and myriad other cultural activities. In fact, the legacy of the ancient Roman culture, and the continued interest in this period of history nowadays, owes much to the enduring popularity and mystique surrounding this greatest of amphitheaters.