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The Colosseum – or Coliseum – is probably the most iconic symbol of Imperial Rome, as well as one of the great works of Roman architecture and engineering.

The first permanent amphitheater to be built in Rome, this enormous amphitheater was inaugurated by Titus in the 1st century. Although it is now near ruins, the Colosseum was used for almost 500 years for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles, including mock sea battles, executions, reenactments of famous battles, and Classical dramas.

With a capacity of an extraordinary 50,000 spectators, it is one of the great ancient Roman architectural monuments. The plan is an ellipse, 615 feet from end-to-end, covering about 6 acres, with about eighty entrances.