Colosseum Facts



  • The Colosseum was a huge stone sports arena built in Ancient Rome.
  • It was 189 m long, 156 m wide, and 52 m high.
  • It held about 50,000 spectators who entered through 80 entrances.
  • The sports included fights between gladiators with swords, nets and other weapons who fought to the death. They also fought against lions and other wild beasts.
  • Counterweighted doors allowed 64 wild beasts to be released from their cages simultaneously.
  • It took just eight years — from around AD 70 to AD 78 — to build the entire structure of the Colosseum.
  • To build it the Romans brought almost a quarter of a million tonnes of stone by barge from quarries 20 km outside Rome.
  • During construction, a cart carrying a tonne of stone would have left the riverside wharves every seven minutes on the 1.5 km journey to the site.
  • A huge awning called a velarium, supported by 240 masts, protected the arena from bad weather.
  • Its opening was celebrated by spectacular games lasting 100 days.