The Colosseum was built between 70 AD with Emperor Vespasian and 80 AD with his heir Titus.
It was constructed on a marshy area, so a 15-meter travertine base was created where drainage systems and service galleries were built.

Over the years, the Colosseum underwent numerous modifications to the original design. Among these changes, Emperor Domitian ordered the construction of an underground level also known as the hypogeum, which was built above the drainage systems.

The underground of the Colosseum consisted of a system of galleries with two enormous corridors. In these galleries, slaves moved around performing their services without being seen by spectators and without obstructing the arena shows. The underground also housed wild animals and gladiators who prepared themselves before ascending to the Arena through 80 vertical tunnels with direct access to the arena.

The renovations that took place over the years led to the implementation of some state-of-the-art systems for that period, such as elevators and hydraulic mechanisms.

In the centuries to come, after its use for battles ceased, the underground was buried until the beginning of excavations in the late 19th century.

Visit the underground of the Colosseum

Guided tours are available that allow you to access the underground area of the Colosseum to learn more about the history of the largest Roman amphitheater in the world. The same ticket includes a visit to the arena, the Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill.

A glimpse of the undergrounds of Rome

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