Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Collosseo & Palentine

Our first historical site to go visit was obviously the Collosseo. Firstly because this is the best building to take pictures of, we have millions already! Secondly, since we live three blocks up from the Collosseo. What a sight it was to walk out of our building and through the narrow street with all the cars, you see this wonderful building in front of you. It was hectically busy, and after being at the Palentine on Monday, we realised that there are a lot less people there during the week as opposed to the weekend.
We had a tour guide talk us through some stuff, eventually we left him to blabber on to go exploring on our own. Some interesting points though:
The Collosseo was always called the Amphiteatre. A theatre in those days was a half circle building; this one is a full circle, hence the name “Amphi”theatre. The name Collosseo was a nick name given to this building after a mammoth statue that was built next to it fell over. This statue falling over was nick named Collosus, and hence the name Collosseo.
The statue next to the Collosseo (I'll have to google who the statue was made after to remember), was 42m high, the Collosseo is 50 something high.
At some point in time, for about 4 years, the Collosseo was filled with water in the centre, and battle ship wars were depicted in this stadium.
The stadium holds 70,000 people, now compare that to Soccer City!
The whole Collosseo took 10 years to build, compare that to the time we built our stadiums, with lots less machinery and technology.
There is so much to say about the Collosseo, it is enormous and fantastic, and so rich in history and events, but words and not even pictures can describe it. I think the sound of a crowd of 70,000 people cheering a gladiator on is something that could give our Vuvuzela competition! We spent probably a good 2 to 3 hours here, just because you need to actually spend the time to feel and experience this magnificent history rich building. I would have loved to go into all the restricted areas!
We went back here in the evening for Leon to take some more stunning pictures, we'll probably go back to take some more!
We went to the Palentine the next morning (quite by accident), which is the Roman city as it was in historical times. Throughout Rome these larger buildings and structures follow the same design and same architecture, but that doesn't make them any less magnificent. Palentine is a very large area, which took us another good 3 hours to explore. It has the houses of the Kings and Queens, a Pantheon (I'll have to google what this was used for), a stadium, gardens, and more.
Highlights of these two sites:
Seeing a photographer with a model trying to take pictures in the Collosseo while it is absolutely packed with people.
Every time I would touch a piece of stone of a fallen building or a statue, I would get this overwhelming feeling of how rich their history is, and how they went through all the effort to preserve it to tell us the story. What story will our buildings tell generations from now?
The size of these buildings is something words cannot explain. A building with a pillar of which the bottom foot of the pillar alone will take me waste height, and then the actual pillar starts, which is probably about 10 stories high. These buildings are mammoth in size, obviously all a show of power.
The frustration of not being able to access all the areas underground and even above ground. I would become an archaeologist only for this purpose!
There was a section written on a plaque about the Gladiator fights. What stuck in mind is that they had a cure for epilepsy – I must tell my brother this! They used to mop up the fallen Gladiator’s blood with a sponge, and drink it!

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