Top 5 Facts: The Colosseum
1) What’s in a name
The name ‘Colossuem’ is believed to have derived from a bronze statue of Nero, erected nearby. It was later remodelled into the likeness of Helios/Apollo the Sun god.
The elliptical stadium is 189 metres (615 feet) long and 156 metres (510 feet) wide with a base area of an impressive 24,000 metres squared (six acres).
3) Wonder of the world
On 7 July 2007 the Colossuem was voted as one of the New Open World Corporation’s New Seven Wonders of the World (along with the likes of the Taj Mahal, and Petra).
4) Anti capital punishment
In irony of its bloody heritage, the site stands as a symbol of the anti-death penalty movement after a demonstration took place there in 2000.
The Velarium was a popular Roman invention that was used inside the Colosseum as an awning to protect against any rain and to provide shade.