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The Colosseum
"As long as the Colosseum, there will Rome when the Colosseum falls, Rome will also fall, but when Rome falls, the world will fall"

Colosseum Rome boasts with lots of world-famous sights but probably none as iconic as the Colosseum. Whether for its gruesome past or ingenious architecture, this definite must-see attracts millions of visitors every year, who want to explore one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Entrance tickets should be booked well in advance to avoid the long queues at the entrance or reserved via the Roma City Pass.

History The largest amphitheatre ever built, the Colosseum opened around 80 AD to entertain the Roman public and hosted gladiator fights, executions and even sea battles. Animals from far away places such as never-seen elephants, crocodiles and giraffes were put on show and astonished audiences of up to 80,000 spectators. Large-scale events, like the inaugural games and victory celebrations, involved thousands of animals and gladiators and could last various months.
During the middle ages, and with gladiators outdated, the Colosseum served a series of very different purposes. Its walls were turned into a huge housing complex, workshops were installed and the arena was even used as a cemetery at some point. In the 14th century, the building was partly destroyed by a devastating earthquake, which brought down the outer southern wall. Of course, its stones didn’t go to waste in a growing city like Rome and were used to construct churches, palaces and other buildings.
Over centuries Romans foraged the remains of the Colosseum in search of building material and damaged it even further. Only its consecration in the mid 18th century put an end to this, although it wasn’t until the 19th century that first restoration efforts were made. Over the years, culminating in a major restoration project completed in 2000, the facade has been stabilised, the interior repaired and the arena’s substructure excavated.

Visiting the Colosseum Today the Colosseum is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions and draws millions of visitors every year. It is open every day, except on January 1 and December 25, from 8.30 a.m. to approximately 6 p.m., depending on the season. A tour of the Colosseum takes the visitor around the arena and its underground tunnels, where once animals and gladiators were held before their (most likely last) appearance in the arena. The tours on offer range from personal guided tours to the Colosseum and Roman Forum-Palatine, through informative audio tours to the exclusive, crowd-avoiding night tour. So take your pick here or check out the Roma City Pass, a convenient and cost-effective alternative for those who would like to tick off transport to and around Rome as well as the entrance tickets to the most important sights all at once and enjoy their visit to the eternal city.

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