How Long Did It Take To Build The Colosseum (And Why)?

How Long Did It Take To Build The Colosseum (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 6 to 8 years

The Flavian Amphitheater, known as the Colosseum, is a vast amphitheater in Rome. It was erected as a gift to the Roman people during the reign of the Flavian emperors.

It stands on the grounds of Nero’s Golden House, directly east of Palatine Hill. The artificial lake that served as the centerpiece of the palace complex was drained, and the Colosseum was built there, a symbolic as well as practical move.

How Long Did It Take To Build The Colosseum

How Long Did It Take To Build The Colosseum?

What happenedWhen happened
Construction started70 – 72 AD
Construction ended80 AD

The Colosseum took six to eight years to construct. The Colosseum was built between 70 and 72 AD as part of Roman Emperor Vespasian’s vision for the exaltation of Rome, and it was finished in 80 AD.

Emperor Vespasian began construction of the Colosseum but died before it could be finished. Emperor Titus and Domitian completed the building under the leadership of his two sons. 60,000 Jewish slaves helped build the Colosseum.

The Jewish Temple of Jerusalem was sacked when the Romans won the first Jewish-Roman conflict, and many of the province’s people were rendered, slaves. They were carried back to Rome, where they were engaged in the construction of the Colosseum to the tune of 60,000 to 100,000 people.

The Colosseum is an oval structure with a short axis of 156 meters and a long axis of 188 meters. The load-bearing pillars were made of travertine blocks, while the exterior walls, staircases, and radial walls were made of tufa blocks and bricks. The construction was strongly supported by arches and vaults.

Emperor Nero ordered the construction of a magnificent mansion for himself in the region damaged by the great fire of 64 AD, which destroyed a large chunk of the city. When Nero was ousted, and Emperor Vespasian succeeded to the throne, he ordered that Nero’s palace complex be demolished and that the Colosseum be erected on top of what had previously been an artificial lake. The Colosseum was supposed to be a large amphitheater where all Romans might enjoy themselves.

The outer wall of the Colosseum consists of three layers of Doric, Ionian, and Corinthian columns, each with 80 arches. 76 of them are numbered with Roman numerals and can still be seen above them in some places. Only 31 of the 80 arches that made up the exterior wall at the ground level are still standing.

Why Did It Take That Long To Build The Colosseum?

The Colosseum took that long to build because great works take time, and when the fire broke out, it spread to the arena (wood), the hypogeum, and eventually, the entire Colosseum was reduced to a massive torch. Its structure was restored during the next 5 years after it was destroyed.

Natural calamities, particularly earthquakes, have caused damage to the Colosseum. People have also chipped away bits of this magnificent building to retain as keepsakes throughout the centuries. Natural calamities, as well as the fact that it is so ancient, have harmed the Colosseum in Rome.

Before entering the arena, gladiators, animals, and captives were held in an extensive network of tunnels and rooms beneath the Colosseum. The arena was accessible from the subsurface via 80 vertical tunnels, as well as a vast network of trap doors via which scenic items could be deployed during the spectacles.

The Colosseum employed a variety of animal species. Others as “enforcers” of those destined to die in the arena, others in staged hunts in which armed and trained humans would bring them down. The Colosseum was home to lions, tigers, wolves, leopards, wild pigs, rhinos, jackals, buffalo, hippos, alligators, and giraffes.


The term “Colosseum” signifies “very, very huge,” as its English origin suggests. A huge statue of Emperor Nero, standing over 100 feet tall, stood beside the structure. Gladiatorial fights were held at the Colosseum. These tournaments took several forms, ranging from animal hunts to group combat to one-on-one confrontations. Every year, more than 7 million people visit the Colosseum. The Colosseum is Italy’s and the world’s most visited tourist destination.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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