The Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre or simply the Quirinale, is the most famous Roman amphitheater, and is located in the city center of Rome. Able to hold up to 50,000 spectators, is the largest and most important Roman amphitheater, as well as the most imposing monument of ancient Rome that has come down to us. The amphitheater was built on a site just east of the Roman Forum. Its construction was begun by Vespasian in 72 AD and it was inaugurated by Titus in 80 AD, with further modifications being made during Domitian’s reign. No longer in use after the sixth century, the huge structure was reused in various ways over the centuries, as well as quarry material.
The name “Colosseum”, which is derived from the nearby statue of the Colossus of the Sun God (adaptation of the Colossus of Nero), became widespread only in the Middle Ages. Soon, the building became a symbol of the imperial city, expression of an ideology in which the celebration will come to define models for the entertainment of the people.
Today it is a symbol of the city and one of its major tourist attractions. It was used for gladiatorial shows and other public events (hunting shows, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology). Clearly expresses the architectural concepts and construction of the early Roman Empire, based respectively on the line and curve hugging offered by the elliptical and the complexity of building systems. Arches and vaults are linked together in a close structural relationship. The Colosseum, as the entire historical center of Rome, has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980.