Plans afoot to install retractable floor in Rome’s Colosseum

Posted by Kyro Mitchell on 5 January 2021

Italy’s biggest tourist attraction and one of the world’s oldest amphitheaters may be getting an upgrade. The Italian government is looking for engineers to rebuild the floor of the Colosseum in Rome, according to the BBC.

Plans afoot to install retractable floor in Rome's Colosseum


When the Colosseum was first built in 70 AD, it featured a wooden, sand-covered floor that disappeared over the years. The wooden floor was built over an underground complex designed to house wild animals and gladiators, along with being a secluded area where stage sets were prepared.

In its hay-day, the Colosseum could seat as many as 50,000 people at once, who all came to watch fierce gladiators battling animals or each other. It is believed gladiatorial combats and other large public entertainments by the 6th century A.D.

The original floor of the Colosseum, which has since disappeared, has exposed the underground complex of tunnels and housing areas for more than a century. The Italian Government wants to change this.

The project to construct a new retractable floor, which has been given the green light by the Italian Culture Ministry, will have a budget of around €18.5 million (R34,232,502) and is scheduled to start in 2022.

Not only will the retractable flood hide the tunnels and housing areas, but it will also feature a number of trap doors and hidden lifts. The Ministry did however stipulate that the trap doors and retractable floors, along with any other mechanical components must be able to close quickly in order to protect the underground area from the elements.

‘It will be a major technological intervention that will offer visitors the opportunity to, not only see the underground rooms… but also appreciate the beauty of the Colosseum while standing in the centre of the arena,’ Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said in a statement, according to the BBC.

The addition of the new floor will also, ‘allow the public to fully understand the use and function of this icon of the ancient world,’ Franceschini added.

Once construction on the new floor is completed, the ministry hinted at the possibility of hosting theatre productions and concerts at the iconic location.


Picture: Pixabay


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