Sunday, 11 October 2015

Rome Part 3!

My favourite part of our Rome trip was the visit to the Colosseum! This last part of my Rome blog post shows some of my best pictures from the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, the Pantheon and the Museum. 

A building that everyone knows about is the Colosseum also known as the arena. It was built in the space of 8 years and opened for its first games in 80AD by Emperor Titus. It was built on a lake previously owned by Emperor Nero. It is also known as the Amphitheatre, amphi meaning on both sides and theatre for performance. It was capable of holding over 50,000 spectators. The last gladiator games were in 435AD. The reason for this was a christian monk from Egypt heard of the games and petitioned for them to be stopped, as his faith did not support the torture and unnecessary death. The more influence Christianity began to have, the quicker the Colosseum closed. Although the gladiator fighting stopped, they still continued to hunt and have other games until the 500s. 

After the Colosseum closed it was abandoned and became a refuge for beggars and craftsmen. The craftsmen soon set to the task of chipping bits of the building away and drilling into the stone to steal the iron clamps within the pillars. Others also took advantage of the abandoned building and stole stone and marble. Some of the stone and marble was later used to build parts of the Vatican. Over a thousand years after the Colosseum closed, it was finally given the status of a protected building and work to preserve what was left of it began. 
They are still finding treasures that once belonged in the Colosseum, and in 2008 they found what was left of a statue of a Roman soldier on a horse. 

On the left is a piece of marble flooring that used to cover the Colosseum. Now there is hardly any of the original flooring left save for a few pieces like this. To think that over 1500 years ago Roman soldiers and Emperors walked over this marble its quite extraordinary. 

On the left are some heads of statues that once stood in the Colosseum. They have no identities but do have descriptions as to what status they would have held. On the right is a photo of what would be under the Colosseum floor. This is where the gladiators would have waited to fight and where they kept the various animals used to fight against the gladiators. 

On the left is a photo of the only remaining seats left in the entire Colosseum. Most were stolen for various reasons so these are all that remain. On the right you can see half of the Colosseum. They have put sand coloured wooden flooring down to try and show what it would have looked like back in the day. 

Palatine Hill is thought to be where Rome was born. Legend says that the twins Romulus and Remus were taken to the hill by a she wolf who raised them. Here is they founded a village which would later be known as Rome. There was a dispute between the brothers over who was the leader and eventually, Romulus beheaded Remus after a sign from the Gods told Romulus he was the rightful leader. It was here that Rome was born and some of the earliest huts were found here. Palatine Hill was also where the first Emperor Augustus was born in 63 BC. 

On the right is a picture of the Circus Maximus, an Ancient Roman chariot racing stadium established in the sixth century BC. 2 fires attacked the Circus Maximus over the many years, the second being in the reign of Nero and the one that led to the burning of Rome. It was later rebuilt by Emperor Trajan in 103 AD and was made of stone. The last race in the Circus Maximus was in 549 AD. 

The Colosseum is situated at the bottom of Palatine Hill so that Emperors did not have far to walk when they attended the games. There are many sites all over Rome like one on the right that show parts of buildings that used to be there back in the day. Many of these sites hold grand doorways with no walls and pillars supporting no roof. Many of the original grand buildings were demolished and taken apart to make other, newer buildings. 

Above are pictures of the Altare della Patria the central museum in Rome. It was officially opened in June 1911. There is also a 'Tomb of the unknown soldier' that was added to the building in 1921. It is made out of Botticino marble and it the largest monument to have ever been built in this type of marble. 

Above is the Pantheon, a building that opened in 126AD by Emperor Hadrian and served as a religious building. In 609 AD it became a christian church. In 1870 it was made into a memorial chapel or the kings of Italy. The middle picture is the first King of Rome, and the picture on the left is the second King of Rome. The roof is domed and has a 9 metre round aperture that allows the sunlight to light up the whole building. 

Here are some pictures from our visit to Piazza Navona one of Romes most beautiful squares. It is also home to three magnificent fountains. In the fifteenth century the square was built over an arena built by Emperor Domitian. The fountain on the right is the largest fountain of the three and is called The Fountain of the Four Rivers and was constructed between 1647 and 1651. The other two fountains are the Neptune Fountain and the Moor Fountain. 

So that concludes my visit to Rome! I strongly recommend visiting if you can. It is such an amazing place and it really does feel as though you are stepping back in time. 

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