It is hard to describe the incredible feeling I had when I saw the famous Coliseum in Rome. The fact that it is still standing after being built in A.D. 79 is amazing enough! After studying the Coliseum in my Latin class and some on my own, I was pretty anxious to see the structure.
When we arrived and walked out of the metro station at the Coliseum stop, I wasn't sure where it was at first. I was mostly concerned with gathering with the group and finding a bathroom actually. But when we stepped outside, I looked up and there it was. This huge, powerful, ancient, world-famous amphitheater from about two thousand years ago was now right in front of me! I'd seen pictures of it in books and all, but it was so much more impressive in person. We walked around it and all I could do was just look up at it and gawk. Before we went into the Coliseum to explore it, we browsed some of the gift stands and got pictures taken with "gladiators". Mostly all a rip-off, but fun anyway.
We went inside and began walking around. Inside of it, I could almost hear the roaring of the Roman crowds sitting in the stands, cheering for competitors. I could sense the excitement that must have filled the amphitheater so long ago. It was an odd feeling, and I felt so fortunate to actually be standing there, in the Coliseum! We walked around the bottom floor, then went up to other levels. On the higher levels we could look out across the ground level and take in the whole inside of it. I must have gone through a whole role of film in just a few moments! It was very impressive. I've heard that the Romans used to fill the structure with water and have mock-water battles in it, as well as fighting. Amazing that they created such a strong, water- tight building that could do that even in early A.D.!
As we explored it more, we saw some of the steps where the public would enter, the entrances for the Christians before they were left to be killed, where the emperor would sit, and cages for the lions and other animals that would be used for fighting. Also, Mr. O'Conner pointed out a cross that was standing in one part of the Coliseum. He said that every Easter the pope comes to the Coliseum and the cross is there to symbolize that the Christians are no longer being persecuted, as they once were for public entertainment.
After many pictures and snitching some of the rubble, we left the Coliseum in awe of the Romans' and the history we'd just walked through.