Colosseum Architecture

Colosseum Architecture | See The Marvelous Structure

The Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is an iconic architectural structure located in Rome, Italy. It was built around 70-80 AD and is considered one of the most impressive ancient buildings in the world. The Colosseum is an elliptical amphitheater made of limestone, brick, and concrete, with a circumference of 527 meters and a height of 48 meters. The Colosseum's design was inspired by Roman engineering and architecture, which emphasized the use of arches and vaults. It was designed to host public events such as gladiator contests, animal hunts, and dramas.

The seating arrangements were based on social class, with the emperor and nobility sitting in the front row and the common people occupying the upper levels. The Colosseum architecture has influenced numerous structures throughout history, including modern-day sports stadiums and concert venues. Despite its age and damage caused by natural disasters and human activity, the Colosseum still stands as a testament to the skill and innovation of ancient Roman builders and engineers. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of Rome's rich cultural heritage.

Who Built the Colosseum in Rome?

King Vespasian

The Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is a remarkable example of ancient Roman architecture and engineering. It was built between 70-80 AD on the site of the Domus Aurea, a grand palace complex that Emperor Nero had built for himself. When King Vespasian became emperor, he saw an opportunity to give back to the people and decided to use the site to build the Colosseum.. Today, the Colosseum remains one of the most visited landmarks in Italy, and its impressive Colosseum architecture continues to inspire awe and wonder in visitors from around the world.

Also Checkout: Indian Restaurants Near Colosseum

King Titus

The Colosseum architecture was completed in three tiers during the reign of King Vespasian, and his son and successor, King Titus, added the fourth tier after Vespasian's death in 79 AD. The fourth tier was intended to accommodate the common people of Rome, and it was inaugurated with a series of games in 80 AD including Colosseum gladiators combat, public executions, and animal fights. The Colosseum's architectural design included four tiers that provided seating for different segments of Roman society. The lower tiers were reserved for the wealthiest citizens and political elite, while the upper tiers were for women and the lower classes.

King Domitian

The architecture of the Roman Colosseum continued to evolve during the reign of King Domitian, the brother, and successor of King Titus. He oversaw the completion of the gallery and the Hypogeum, a series of underground tunnels and trapdoors beneath the arena. The gallery was designed to provide access to the games for the poor, women, and slaves, who were previously excluded from the event. Unlike the upper tiers of the Colosseum, which had seats, the gallery was a standing-room area that allowed more people to attend the annual games. The architecture of the Roman Colosseum, including the additions made during the reign of King Domitian, reflects the grandeur and extravagance of the Roman Empire.

Must Read: Facts About Colosseum

The Exterior Of Colosseum


The outer wall of the Roman Colosseum was a remarkable feat of ancient engineering and design. It was constructed using a variety of materials, including tufa, travertine limestone, cement, and iron clamps, and had a height of approximately 48 meters with a thickness of 3.5 meters. The elliptical shape of the wall was designed to completely enclose the arena and seats, creating an awe-inspiring spectacle for the spectators. Half of the wall collapsed during the earthquake of 1349, and it has since suffered further damage from natural disasters, pollution, and vandalism. As a result, only parts of the outer wall remain visible today and it is considered as one of the famous historical places in Italy

Book Now: Colosseum Escorted Entrance Ticket With Arena Access


The Roman Colosseum is an architectural marvel with 80 impressive arches that once facilitated the entry and exit of spectators. Out of these arches, 76 were used by the general public, while the remaining 4 were reserved for the wealthy, the Emperor, and his entourage. The North Gate was reserved solely for the Emperor and his guests, while the other three were reserved for the affluent. Columns of various architectural styles supported all the tiers of the Colosseum, adding to the grandeur of the structure.

Recommended Read: Palatine Museum

Main Entrances

The architecture of the Colosseum features four main entrances, one of which was exclusively reserved for the Emperor. This entrance led to the Emperor's Box, which was later adorned with a cross by a Pope in the 16th century. The remaining three entrances were used for processions, gladiators, and other participants during the annual games. These entrances boasted impressive arches carved out of stone and supported by columns and iron clamps, a testament to the grandeur of the Roman Colosseum architecture.

Suggested Read: Domus Aurea

The Interior Of Colosseum

First Tier

The first tier of the architecture of the Colosseum is the closest to the arena and was reserved for the elite class of ancient Rome. Senators, nobles, and other wealthy individuals had the privilege of sitting in this area and enjoying the games up close. This section had an exclusive entrance and exit gate, which allowed wealthy spectators to enter and exit quickly. The first tier featured beautiful decorations and architectural elements, such as columns and statues, which gave it a grand appearance.

Must Read: Colosseum At Night

Second Tier

The second tier was reserved for the middle class of ancient Rome. This section had a wider range of seats, providing a good view of the arena to most spectators. The second tier was also decorated with beautiful columns and statues, and the arches allowed the light to filter through, creating an ethereal atmosphere. This tier was accessible through a separate entrance, making it easier for people to reach their seats without any inconvenience.

Also Checkout: Domus Flavia

Third Tier

The third tier was the highest and farthest from the arena, and it was reserved for the common people of ancient Rome. This section had no seats and people had to stand throughout the games. However, this section had a great view of the arena and the city. It was accessible through multiple entrances, allowing the common people to enter and exit quickly. The third tier was simple in its design, but its architectural features, such as the arches and columns, gave it a touch of elegance.

Recommended Read: Places to Visit Near Colosseum

Structure of Colosseum

The Colosseum was built using a variety of ancient Roman stones that were held together with cement and iron clamps. Tuff, Travertine limestone, wood, tiles, bricks, and blocks of tufa were used to build the amphitheater. It also had a marble covering that was later used to build different buildings and structures throughout Rome.

The building had two walls, inner and outer. The latter was severely damaged in the earthquake of 1349, which is why only parts of the outer wall can be seen today. The different entry points were built so the entire premises could be entered and exited within 15 minutes. It was built in an elliptical shape to make viewing possible from all seats. The gallery above the 4th tier was added by King Domitian, who made sure that people could view the arena clearly while standing.

Also Read: Restaurants Near Colosseum

Colosseum Architecture Video

About Colosseum

The Colosseum, a remarkable ancient Roman amphitheater in Rome, showcases ingenious architecture. Built around 70-80 AD, its elliptical shape spans 189x156 meters, reaching 48 meters in height. Distinguished by three tiers of arcades—Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian—the exterior exudes grandeur. It accommodated 50,000 to 80,000 spectators across tiered seating, indicating meticulous crowd management. Notable is the hypogeum, an underground complex for staging events. Symbolizing Roman power and engineering prowess, the Colosseum endures as an iconic emblem of ancient history, visited by millions annually and cherished for its architectural and cultural significance.

Stages of Construction of Colosseum

  • Before 70 AD, the foundation stone for the Colosseum was laid on the site of Domus Aurea, where King Nero had erected a large statue of himself. King Vespasian chose this location to build the Flavian Amphitheatre.

  • In 72 AD, construction began under King Vespasian's direction, involving skilled architects, artists, painters, builders, and engineers, while many Jewish slaves provided labor due to Rome's recent victory in the Siege of Jerusalem.

  • By 79 AD, King Vespasian passed away after completing three stories of the Colosseum. His son, King Titus, succeeded him and added a fourth tier for the common people's seating.

  • In 80 AD, King Titus officially completed the Colosseum, marked by a grand 100-day inaugural game.

  • Around 90 AD, King Domitian made further additions, including the gallery for slaves, women, and the less affluent, and the Hypogeum—an underground tunnel used to cage animals and slaves during the games.

Read More: Palatine Museum


What is the Colosseum architectural style?

The Colosseum architectural style is Roman. It is considered to be one of the greatest architectural achievements of the ancient world and one of the best places to visit inRome, characterized by its use of concrete and arches. The Colosseum's elliptical shape and tiered seating arrangement were also innovative for their time.

Also Read: Restaurants Near Colosseum

Why is the Colosseum architecture famous?

Colosseum architecture is famous for its grandeur and durability. Despite being built over 2000 years ago, the Colosseum still stands as a testament to the ingenuity of ancient Roman engineering. Its scale and design were intended to impress and intimidate spectators and demonstrate the power of Rome.

What does the exterior of the Colosseum look like?

The exterior of the Colosseum is imposing, with its massive stone walls and rows of arches. The building has four levels, with each level having a different architectural style. The first three levels are adorned with arches, while the fourth level features Corinthian columns and small windows.

Book Now: Semi-Private Colosseum Tour With Special Access

What parts are in the interior of the Colosseum?

Inside Colosseum includes the arena, which was the stage for gladiatorial combat and other spectacles. The arena was surrounded by tiered seating areas that could accommodate up to 50,000 spectators. Beneath the arena, there were numerous chambers and passageways used for the storage of animals and props and to provide access for performers.

Checkout: Colosseum Museum

What is Colosseum made out of?

The Colosseum is primarily made out of travertine limestone and concrete. The exterior is clad in marble, while the seating areas were originally covered with wooden planks. The use of concrete allowed for the construction of the Colosseum's innovative design, including its elliptical shape and the complex system of vaults and arches that supported the building's weight. Overall, the Colosseum architecture is a marvel of ancient engineering and design, and it remains a symbol of the power and grandeur of the Roman Empire.

Read More: Colosseum Underground Tour

When was Colosseum built?

Construction of the Colosseum commenced in 72 AD and reached completion by 81 AD.

How old is Colosseum?

The Colosseum has stood for 1,950 years, enduring the test of time.

What’s inside Colosseum?

Within the Colosseum, various features await your exploration, including an arena floor, three tiers for spectators, underground tunnels known as the Hypogeum, and numerous arches providing entry and exit points.

How big is the Colosseum?

Covering a vast expanse of 2 hectares, the Colosseum comprises both its interior and outer wall.

Also Checkout: Colosseum Arena

What was Colosseum inspired by?

In response to early centuries' adversities within the Roman Empire, King Vespasian aspired to present the Roman people with an amphitheater for their amusement and games.

What are the dimensions of the Colosseum?

During its prime, the Colosseum could hold a staggering 65,000 spectators within its impressive dimensions of 620 by 513 feet.


About Us | Contact Us | Email Us:

The content and images used on this site are copyright protected and copyrights vests with the respective owners.

© 2024 All rights reserved.