Colosseum Will Have a Floor For The First Time in 1500 Years!
Rome’s famous blood bath viewing location, The Colosseum, is to be fitted with a €10 million euro ($12.3 million) high-tech retractable floor giving visitors an insight into the lives of ancient gladiators.
Rome is now one of the most religious cities in the world, but in history, it was also one of the most violent and blood thirsty. Located at the pulsing heart of the barbaric city’s historic scenes of violence, The Colosseum or the Flavian Amphitheater, was a gigantic structure that opened in 80 AD to provide entertainment to Roman societal elites and the masses. It was built during the reign of the Flavian emperors as a gift to the Roman people and it was here that the merchants, traders, shipping magnates and politicians watched what are by today’s standards grotesque and murderous displays of hand-to-hand combat. The new high-tech Colosseum project isn’t cheap, but the possibilities look good for Rome’s tourism income and the local “entertainment” industry.
Much of this magnificent Roman monument has been destroyed, but great parts of the original external structure still stand. The new engineering project is planned to begin next year and is expected to be completed in 2022 or 2023 AD.
The project will add a fully retractable floor to the ancient arena of the existing Colosseum to let visitors experience what it looked like for gladiators fighting to the death 2,000 years ago.
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High-tech Colosseum: Tourists Ascending In Animal Cages
The Colosseum was specifically designed to satisfy the city’s bloodthirsty 1st century AD inhabitants. Elaborate engineering projects have been added to this ancient site from when it was built until it was abandoned in the 5th century AD. Large scale water battles required the arena to be flooded and prisoners were forced aboard ships to meet their fates fighting in maritime battles. According to an article in The Daily Mail , these naval reenactments saw the deaths of many thousands of fighters together with “aquatic animals” brought in to add to the theatrics. Furthermore, lions and tigers were housed in cages beneath the arena floor and were raised to the battle ground with a system of ropes and pulleys.
The Colosseum floor and lower chamber area as it looks today. The high-tech Colosseum project will really change everything! ( Barbara / Adobe Stock)
Beneath the Colosseum a matrix of tunnels and holding cells for fighters and animals is currently accessible to tourists. However, the Colosseum has been without a floor for over a thousand years ever since the collapse of the Roman empire in the 5th century AD.
Italian authorities are currently reviewing proposals for installing the new retractable floor, which also includes platforms that can ascend to the ground floor from the lower chambers . Speaking with the New York Post , one of the Italian officials said the new floor must be retractable and be able to deploy rapidly due to the risk of adverse weather.
Tourists Will Encounter Ghosts in The High-Tech Colosseum
Right now, Rome’s Colosseum is a shell of its former glory inhabited with the ghosts and memories of hundreds of thousands slaves, gladiators, Christians and the animals who died amidst the cheers of Roman citizens .
To give visitors a “gladiator’s eye view” of the Colosseum’s early glory, Roman authorities now want to rebuild the old floor to give visitors a better impression of what the amphitheater was like when it was fully operational and flowing with blood in front of up to 35,000 roaring Roman individuals.
A close up of the Colosseum’s lower chambers that will also be renovated as part of the high-tech Colosseum project. ( vredaktor / Adobe Stock)
Alfonsina Russo, the director of the site, told The Times that the city is seeking proposals from designers around the world for the Colosseum project. Currently, the new floor and lower chamber area project is slated for completion by 2022 or 2023 AD. And while the “new” Colosseum will be used for concerts or theatre productions, Dr Russo assured the press, tongue-in-cheek, that there would be no more gladiatorial battles. This is all happening in an effort to attract tourists back to Italy after the country’s tourist industry collapsed in 2020 AD from Covid-19 lockdowns.
However, it might take more than a fancy new floor at the Colosseum to achieve this as the global media is still scaring off the public from what was the epicenter of the virus in Europe. Only last month Politico published the dire headline, “Rome heads towards coronavirus disaster,” and it said the second wave of the virus has hit the country hard, and that government ministers are struggling to cope. Hopefully, the Colosseum project will usher in a new chapter of increased Italian tourism.
Top image: Rome’s Colosseum of today will become a high-tech Colosseum in 2022 or 2023 AD with a retractable floor and platforms rising from the lower chambers! Source: Petair / Adobe Stock
By Ashley Cowie