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Secret Underground Passages of Colosseum in Rome Now Open to Visitors

Secret Underground Passages of Colosseum in Rome Now Open to Visitors
Two thousand year old secret passages under the Colosseum revealed, Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

The secret pathways that launched the gladiators and the wild beasts to the performance arena come into public view after two thousand years

OT Staff
June 28 , 2021
02 Min Read

Visitors to the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, will now be able to see what has remained out of public view for nearly two thousand years – the heart or the ‘hypogea’ – where gladiators and the wild animals would wait for their turn in the amphitheatre.

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, ‘the Colosseum (c. 70–82 CE) that replaced Nero’s ornamental lake is more correctly called the Flavian Amphitheatre, after the Flavian dynasty of emperors. It was begun by Vespasian and inaugurated by Titus in 80 CE.’  The amphitheatre was active between 80 AD and 523 AD

While restoring this much cited and photographed structure, it was found out that it was fitted with mobile platforms and wooden elevators to transport the wild animals and the gladiators (sometimes unarmed prisoners) to the centre of the stadium. A network of channels supplied the water for the naval battles that concluded most shows.

 
 
 
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Now visitors can walk through the 15 corridors, go past the archways, and see the lift shafts across wooden platforms erected along the length of the hypogea. In the ancient period, slaves operated the shafts by candle light or torches. However, today visitors can see the depths with sunlight filtering in from the top.

The hypogea has been restored during the second phase of a massive restoration of this historic structure. According to media reports, restoration of galleries, creation of a new visitor centre and a new lighting system will be undertaken in the soon to begin third phase.


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