Another day to check off the “must see/do” list – The Coliseum! But not just going to The Coliseum, we did something a little different. We took a tour of the Coliseum underground. This is actually below the level of what was the arena floor. In the photo below the smooth  area in front of the wood railing is where the arena floor existed. This should give on a little more perspective on the photo below it.

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This photo shows the labyrinth of hallways and holding areas that were below the arena. You can see the reconstructed floor at the top of the inner area.

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Going into the area below was fascinating. There were channels where they brought water in to flood the arena so they could have small boats as part of the exhibitions. There were many areas with holding cells for the animals (lions, bears, etc). In the floor were circular areas where posts of winches had stood. They used those to raise the cages with the animals such as lions to the arena floor. Check out that stone work on the left – huge blocks angled to fit and support. To the right some of the arches in the mazes below where the arena floor was.

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The Roman Ruins are in the middle of Rome – duh! It makes it extremely difficult to get photos without the accompanying current day accoutrements. Of course there is a crush of people, not as bad as the Vatican though. But that’s me too, so I can’t complain.
Looking at all of the ancient buildings it is apparent that they’ve gone through many “lives”. The earliest uses not associated with the Catholic church and then those after. It seems that the popes of the early years were conquerors themselves. Even The Coliseum has a cross on it.

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