The Colosseum or Roman Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre, is an elliptical amphitheatre in the center of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering.
Originally capable of seating around 80,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. As well as the gladiatorial games, other public spectacles were held there, such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. It has been estimated that about 500,000 people and over a million wild animals died in the Colosseum games.
The Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome and its breakthrough achievements in earthquake engineering. It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and still has close connections with the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" procession to the amphitheatre.