The Colosseum is the largest amphitheater in the world and the biggest closed structure Romans ever built. For the grand opening ceremony, games with gladiator fights, naval battles and animal fights were scheduled for a period of a hundred days. During that time, more than 5,000 animals were killed.
The arena is oval and its floor is 177 ft wide and 282 ft long (54 m by 86 m). On top, the furthest distance between the walls is 512 ft (156 m) width-wise, and 617 ft (188 m) longitudinally. Two-storey basements are located below the arena where gladiators and animals waited before the show. A spectacular entrance for the animals was secured by eight shafts. Underground halls lead all the way to the stables outside the arena and to the gladiator training school called Ludus Magnus.
For more than 300 years, the Colosseum was the venue for gladiator fights, and animal fights went on for another hundred years. During those four centuries, it is estimated that over 300,000 people were killed in the Colosseum, together with several million animals.
Today, the Colosseum stands for something completely different. Every time a death penalty is executed or revoked anywhere in the world, Colosseum is lit up like a giant torch during the next 48 hours.