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Gone to the lions by Ann Treacy
June 18, 2011, 4:53 pm
Filed under: Rome, Uncategorized

Thursday morning we  headed down to the Coliseum. The Coliseum was on everyone’s must-see list so we were excited. I was even a little afraid that we had built it up so much that we might be disappointed – we weren’t. In fact at dinner everyone noted it as a favorite. It really is big and imposing and kind of majestic.

In its day is sat 50,000 people. It was built in 72 AD. Who even knew there were 50,000 back then? Most of the floor is missing so it’s easy to see what the basement/lower level looked like – and there’s a great (modern) mural that illustrates what happened back in the day. The lions were kept in cages in the lower floor. The cages moved along a sort of conveyor belt to “the place” where the cages were pulled to the surface like an elevator car or stage trap door. On the field waiting would have been the Christians. Our guidebook calls the Coliseum the NASCAR of antiquity. Funny to think of it that way – but I suppose it is.

So we were able to check out the stadium from two floors. The views out of the stadium were as amazing as the views inside. The columns and pedestals give you a perspective of how large the place is. I tried to get a couple of pictures to help – but even in person the size is so overwhelming you kind of dismiss it.

On the way back we walked by Circus Maximus and the Palatine. The Circus Maximus was actually a larger stadium/sports area. It was built to seat 250,00 for chariots races and public games. Now it’s more like a giant field. The Palatine dates back to 753 BC. It’s where Romulus killed Remus and founded Rome. TO honor the spot later emperors built their palaces here. By walking around the area, we got an idea of how large the footprint of the area is – but it wasn’t until we took the double-decker bus tour in the afternoon that we got an idea of its size. (I’m going to add those pictures here in case that helps. Also – we saw several lizards in the Palatine. Lizards are always a highlight.)


1 Comment so far
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The pictures and description of the Coliseum are fantastic! Just wondering if you can get anyone else to snap a few pictures so we have proof that you (Ann) were there too!

Hope the fun just keeps continuing on …

-Jan

Comment by Jan Hepola




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