Friday, November 5, 2010

Rome-Day 2

Our goal for the day was to visit the Coliseum and Roman Forum.
We decided to walk instead of taking the subway and came across this beautiful cathedral.

Finally, the Coliseum was in site. Built in 72 A.D., it was mandantory for all Roman citizens to attend when there were games going on. Usually the games would last 20 days and would occur at least once a year.

Wow, here we have a real Roman Soldier. And for only a few euros you could have your picture taken with them. For some unsuspecting tourists they would try to force you to pay up to 100 euros or threaten to call the police.

Inside the coliseum the floor is no longer in place, allowing you to see the underground chambers. They had elaborate elevators which brought animals and gladiators to the surface. The latin for "arena" actually means 'sandy place'. The floor of the coliseum was covered with wooden planks, then the planks were covered in at least 9 inches of sand. Hence coliseums eventually came to be called arenas.

Some of the original marble seats. Much of the coliseum is still not dug out as seen in the area around these seats.

An overall look at the inside of the coliseum.

We wandered around the area and found this building which we first thought was another old Roman building. But instead, we found it is a new building, just built to look old. This building is a monument, built in the late 1800s, to honor modern Italian hero's.

Capitaline Hill, designed by Michaelangelo during the Renaissance period.

They are still finding old ruins. These were discovered in 1935 and are just beginning to be excavated.

This is the fresco on the newly discovered excavations. The excavations show the original road was 9 feet below the current road.

Looking down from Capitoline Hill onto the Roman Forum. This is considered the site of modern civilization and democracy.

Walking down to the Tiber River we found the remains of an old Roman Bridge.

Circus Maximus was a Roman chariot racing and entertainment venue which could hold over 250,000 people, making one of the largest ever built. This location was first used by Etruscan kings, then the kings of Rome in the 2nd century, before being expanded by Julius Caeser. Today there is nothing left to show of this large and popular venue, except it's use as a modern day park.

Eventually we made it to Palantine Hill, where the rulers of the Roman Empire made their home. In the museum was some fresco's found in the area.

This was the home of Roman Emporer Nero.

I was impressed by the detail on the walls and columns, like this.

Walking down among the ruins of the Roman Forum.

More pictures of the Roman Forum. Not only the center of government, this was also the market place and gathering place for worship. During the Roman Empire, the worship was the Temple's to their gods, and later the Christian's built their churches on top of the ruins of Roman temples. By the 5th century A.D., the forum was surrounded by Christian churches.

A map showing the Roman Empire at it's greatest. Notice it extends clear to Great Britain.

The Arch of Constantine. Built to celebrate his victory over Maxentius during the Roman civil wars. Constantine is noted for allowing religious tolerance for Christians, which was a reversal of Roman policy up to that time.


Diana said...

Aren't you glad you have a long zoom on your camera so the Roman soldier couldn't catch you?

Barbara and Ron said...

Very interesting. I especially liked the overall picture of the coliseum.