Yael Ben Shalom
The Colosseum is situated just east of the Roman Forum. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in 72 AD, and was completed in 80 AD under his successor and heir Titus. Further modifications were made during the reign of Domithian (81–96).
These three emperors are known as the Flavian dynasty, and the amphitheatre was named in Latin for its association with their family name (Falavius).
The Colosseum could hold, it is estimated, between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea buttles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarrt, and a Christian shrine.
Although in the 21st century it stays partially ruined because of damage caused by devastating earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attracitions and has close connections with the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Fridey the Pope leads a torchlit "Way Of The Cross" prossecion that starts in the area around the Colosseum.
In 2007 the complex was included among the New 7 "Wonders Of The World", following a competition organized by New Open World Corporation (NOWC).
The Colosseum is also depicted on the Italian version of the five-cent euro coin.