The historical place: 10 Historical Places Around the World You Should Visit

17 Historical Places You Need to Visit in Your Lifetime

Start packing your bags.

By Orrin Grey & MacKenzie Stuart | Updated Jul 8, 2021 | Published Apr 9, 2019

  • Photo Credit: Wikipedia

It turns out that you don’t have to be Indiana Jones or Nicolas Cage in National Treasure to explore a piece of history. In fact, there are tons of amazing historical sites that you can (and should!) go see as soon as possible. Each monument or landmark holds a piece of history. Its preservation is a gift that we shouldn’t take for granted. 

Now that COVID-19 vaccines are available and some countries are cautiously welcoming back visitors, we’ve started daydreaming about our next trek around the world. If you are curious about glimpsing the past, then you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a list of 17 historical places that you need to visit in your lifetime—hopefully sooner rather than later. 

Related: 16 Travel Books That Will Feed Your Wanderlust

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The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, more commonly known as Saint Basil’s Cathedral, is instantly recognizable. It’s come to be synonymous with Russian culture, although curiously, its architecture is quite unique from the rest of the nation. The cathedral was built between 1555 and 1561 on the orders of Ivan the Terrible in order to commemorate two successful battles. 

Originally an Orthodox Christian church, the cathedral is now primarily in use as a museum, with the occasional prayer service. It’s also a designated World Heritage Site. People flock to the cathedral to witness its magnificent architecture, representing a bonfire rising into the sky, with their own eyes.

  • Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Nestled among a mountainous region in the south of Spain, this picturesque palace and fortress complex has a storied history. The Alhambra was built in 889 on top of ancient Roman ruins, only to be neglected until the 13th century, when it was rebuilt by an emir of the Nasrid dynasty. At the time, Granada was under Muslim rule. When Spaniards regained control of the territory, the Alhambra was used as the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella. Now it attracts tourists from all over the world with its amazing display of architecture.

In broader terms, the city of Granada itself is also a fascinating place to visit. Christians, Muslims, and Jews vied for control of the site for centuries, and now live together in the culturally rich city. Writer Washington Irving spent some time in Granada; his book below sheds light on its complex history.

Related: 8 Essential Books About the Spanish Civil War

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China’s Forbidden City is actually a palace complex, not a city—although its enormous size lends credence to the name. The complex has 980 buildings over 178 acres, and according to UNESCO, it has the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. It was built between 1406 and 1420 and was used as the home of Chinese emperors, as well as the Chinese seat of government, for 500 years. On average, the Forbidden City receives 14 million visitors a year—perhaps you can be one of them.

  • Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

You already know what and where these are, right? While we may still not know exactly how they were built, this pyramid complex has sat at the center of human imagination for centuries. The Giza Pyramids are made up of three large and three smaller pyramids, as well as the sculpture of the Great Sphinx. Learn more about Egypt’s mysterious history by reading The Pyramids by Miroslav Verner below.

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While you can no longer enter inside the stone circle at Stonehenge, you can still get pretty close to one of the world’s most famous megalithic structures. Located in the midst of a large series of prehistoric earthworks, the Salisbury-adjacent structure includes hundreds of burial mounds. The precise origin and function of Stonehenge remains hotly debated to this day.

While you’re up north in England, consider also checking out the henge at Avebury. That massive circle is over 1,000 feet in diameter. In many ways, it’s even more impressive than Stonehenge. 

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Perhaps best known as the entrance to the resting place of the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Petra actually has a somewhat uncertain history. The city was carved into the side of a canyon in present-day Jordan. Also called the Rose City, it remains remarkably well-preserved centuries after its initial construction. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Petra was also named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. 

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Made famous by countless beautiful photographs, the ruined Incan city of Machu Picchu is located in a relatively inhospitable location. The city perches on top of a mountain accessible only by train or a four-day hike. Despite this, it is such a popular tourist destination that limitations have recently been placed on how many people can visit at a time, in order to help preserve the incredible ruins.

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The largest religious monument in the world, the sprawling temple complex of Angkor Wat covers more than 400 acres. It was once the heart of the massive capital city of the Khmer Empire. Today, the temple complex is crowded with people once again. Now, though, it is tour groups coming to explore the splendor of this incredible historic site. 

Related: 13 Books That Explore the History of World Religions

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Having been restored substantially in recent years, the ruins of the Mayan city of Chichen Itza are the second-most visited archaeological site in Mexico. Chichen Itza translates to «at the mouth of the well of Itza». The Itza people were the dominant lineage in the region at the time.

Itza may also refer to the natural sinkholes or cenotes that are nearby. The famous Cenote Sagrado, also known as the «Well of Sacrifice,» where archaeologists believe that the Maya made sacrifices to the rain god, Chaac, is one of the city’s marvels.

  • Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Greece and Italy have so many famous ruins that it can be hard to choose from among them. While the go-to locations for most modern day adventurers are places like the Parthenon in Greece or the Colosseum in Rome, Delphi is sometimes forgotten, even though it housed the most famed oracle of the ancient world. Ancient Grecians considered Delphi the center of the world. Just a short hike above the main Delphi temple ruins you’ll find the Corycian cave. This place was sacred to the Corycian Nymphs, the Muses, and even Pan. 

Related: 10 Illuminating Books About Ancient Greece

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Odds are you’ve seen it in a movie somewhere, but that’s nothing compared to standing before the Hagia Sophia. The magnificent structure was originally constructed as a Greek Orthodox basilica. It later became a mosque in the Ottoman Empire and is now a museum. There have been recent calls to convert it back into a mosque. Hagia Sophia is the quintessential example of Byzantine architecture.

Related: 8 Surprising Facts About Grigori Rasputin, Russia’s «Mad Monk»

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When you try to picture a fairytale castle, chances are what appears in your mind is something similar to Neuschwanstein Castle. That’s not by accident, as the castle actually served as the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. Originally built by King Ludwig II, the castle was first opened to the public just seven weeks after his death in 1886. The picturesque structure is perched on the top of a tall hill in Bavaria, Germany.

Related: 11 Beautiful Medieval Castles History Lovers Can Visit Today

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Like many of the destinations on this list, this Mayan ruin in Guatemala has featured prominently in film, perhaps most notably standing in for part of a Rebel base in Star Wars: A New Hope. It’s also one of the best-preserved Mayan ruins that can be visited by the public.

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Once the grandest temple in Thailand’s former capital Ayutthaya, Wat Phra Si Sanphet was largely destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. Today, three distinct Chedis that were part of the original temple structure can still be seen, their bell-shaped design giving the ruin an unmistakable profile. The Chedis were places of prayer and meditation, built atop the burial places of kings. Other foundations and smaller Chedis around the area are also intact.  

  • Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Despite being inactive since the sixth century, the Colosseum continues to be a beacon for spectators. Visitors from around the world come to admire the glorious and impressive monument.

Also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, the Colosseum was built between 70 and 72 CE. After the turbulent reign of Nero, Flavian emperors attempted to restore Senate authority and promote public welfare. Vespasian, founder of the Flavian dynasty, decided to build a new amphitheater on top of where Nero’s Golden House once stood. In 80 CE, the Colosseum was completed—measuring 620 by 513 feet and easily becoming the largest amphitheater in the Roman world. Vespasian’s son, Titus, launched a celebration that included 100 days of games.

Related: Rediscover Mary Renault, Queen of Ancient Historical Fiction

For about two centuries, the Colosseum was a public hotspot for gladiatorial fights and other large events. By the 20th century, some two-thirds of the original Colosseum had been destroyed due to weather, natural disasters, neglect, and vandalism. Thankfully, since the late 20th century, a number of restoration efforts have begun, and the Colosseum has regained its status as one of Rome’s major attractions. It receives about seven million annual visitors. 

  • Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Taj Mahal is considered one of the New 7 Wonders of the World—and with good reason. There is no denying the beauty of the massive mausoleum/symbol of love. 

After the death of his favorite wife, Shah Jahan commissioned this elaborate tomb in her memory. Supposedly, Mumtaz Mahal, on her deathbed, begged her husband to build her the most beautiful tomb ever. The emperor certainly came through–although it took some 20 years to be fully completed.

The Taj Mahal cost the emperor over 30 million rupees (around 800 million modern dollars) and needed over 20,000 workers to complete. Today, both Mumtaz Mahal and her beloved Shah Jahan lay inside the extravagant tomb, which is surrounded by a 300 square meter garden.

  • Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

One of the world’s most famous landmarks took about a millennia to build, and now it’s one of the world’s most breathtaking views. The Great Wall of China is considered the largest construction project ever undertaken to this day. The collection of fortifications were made from materials like stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and more. As early as the seventh century BC, several walls that would become sections of the Great Wall had already been built. They would eventually be joined by Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China.

Related: 8 Facts About Genghis Khan That May Surprise You

Later on, the Ming dynasty built the most well-known section of the walls, which stretches 5,000 miles. The main purpose of the wall was defense against the nomadic Mongols, who, despite their small population, posed a serious military threat. The wall stands today as a marvel of engineering and triumph of human ingenuity. For more on the Great Wall of China, check out The Great Wall by Julia Lovell below.

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These are just a few of the incredible historical sites that tourists and explorers can still visit today. If you have the itch of wanderlust, a thirst for adventure, or simply want to learn more about the fascinating history of human civilization, visit any of these sites or many more around the world.

[Via Places to See in Your Lifetime, Telegraph, Nomadic Matt]

European history

Asian History

South American History

Ancient History

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Cultural History

23 Must-See Historic Landmarks in the U.S.

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From sea to shining sea, we’re sharing America’s best landmarks.

Lauren Wicks

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America has an illustrious history and is full of hope—as well as some severely dark times that our country continually has to reckon with. Visiting our country’s landmarks, be it a national park or city-center memorial, is a way to help American history come to life and better educate ourselves on the founding principles and legacy of the U.S. of A., that we may pave a way for a better and brighter future.

From Black-owned plantations to the very rooms where our Declaration of Independence was signed, these 24 landmarks are just some of the must-see sights that help us appreciate America’s beauty and resiliency while reconciling its past and honoring those who lived here before the New World was built. Be sure to book a stay at a nearby B&B to get the full local, often historic, experience.

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Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone was established as the world’s first National Park in 1872, but it has been used for thousands of years as a place for tribes, bands, animals, and vegetation to flourish and call home. This magnificent park is home to world-famous sites like Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic Spring, and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone (shown here).

National Parks Service

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Harriet Tubman National Historic Park

Located in Auburn, New York, Harriet Tubman National Historic Park is an excellent place to learn more about the incredible woman behind the Underground Railroad that rescued and emancipated hundreds of enslaved Black people—and her lesser-known role in aiding the Union Army in rescuing emancipated enslaved people during the Civil War. This site includes a group of insightful historical landmarks: The Harriet Tubman Visitor Center, the Tubman Home for the Aged, the Harriet Tubman Residence, and the Thompson Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

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Brooklyn Bridge

It takes a lot for a landmark to be considered «iconic» within the boroughs of New York City, but the Brooklyn Bridge has certainly emerged as one of the most renowned. Designed by Prussian immigrant John A. Roebling, this world-famous bridges features Gothic double arches, criss-crossed steel cables, and plenty of room for cyclists and pedestrians alike. The bridge was considered the world’s largest suspension bridge upon its completion in 1883, connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan (which were considered two separate cities for 15 more years after), and still serves as a picture-perfect way to get from one borough to the other.

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Alcatraz Island

Less than two miles from San Francisco lies the infamous Alcatraz Island, which was home to a Civil War fortress, military prison, bird sanctuary, the first lighthouse on the West Coast, birthplace of the Native American Red Power movement, and, most famously, a federal prison. A quick ferry ride from Fisherman’s Wharf will take you to this well-preserved, historically rich landmark that’s full of fascinating tales of crime, conspiracy, and more.

Annie Schlechter

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Colonial Williamsburg

This living history museum offers some of the most hands-on insight into what Colonial America was like during the 18th century. From exploring the historic trades that established America’s commerce and admiring the country’s premiere collection of American folk art to conversing with a «founding father» in town, every minute on this site is a learning experience. Plus, there are some incredible hotel and dining options on site if you’re looking to to get the most of out of your time.

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Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon became a national park after multiple attempts in 1919, spanning nearly 2,000 square miles of majestic rock, river, and wildlife. The canyon is also home to five Native American tribes: The Hopi, Navajo, Havasupai, Paiute, and Hualapai. Whether you’re looking for a gorgeous overlook for fabulous picnicking views or an intense overnight hike through the canyon, there’s an activity for everyone at this national treasure.

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Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle is widely considered one of the most famous—and fabulous—homes in American history, and it doesn’t take long to see why. This historic estate holds 250,000 acres of gardens, pools, immaculate residences, and more. The campsite-turned-castle also features more than 25,000 artifacts from across the globe, be it an Italian Renaissance sculpture or Tiffany & Co.’s 1889 Orchid Vase.

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Jackson Square

Jackson Square is one of New Orleans’s many historic landmarks, situated at the heart of the French Quarter. Designed in 1721 by French architect Louis Pilié to emulate Paris’s Place des Vosges, this gorgeous locale has served as a site for battles and executions, weddings and entertainment, and today, as a space for local artists to share their works and talent as you enjoy world-famous beignets from Cafe du Monde.

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Mesa Verde National Park

This Colorado landmark served as a home for the Ancestral Pueblo people for more than 700 years, and a national park was established in 1906 to preserve the area. The park protects 5,000 archeological sites and 600 cliff dwellings. Cliff Palace is the most famous, shown here, offering valuable insights into what early American life looked like as early as the 14th century.

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Independence Hall

The City of Brotherly Love is home to all sorts of historic landmarks, and Independence Hall is one of the most prominent. This colonial structure was the site where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 and the United States Constitution was created and signed in 1787. It also formerly housed all three branches of Pennsylvania’s state government.

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Yosemite National Park

Yosemite weaves the visual storytelling of California history with 1,200 square miles of ancient giant sequoias, former mining land that drew people in droves to California in the 19th century, and, of course, natural beauty at every turn. Whether you’re looking to climb El Capitan or visit Nevada Falls, visiting this landmark is worth more than just a few hours of your time.

National Parks Service

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Fredrick Douglass National Historic Site

This Washington, D.C., landmark pays tribute to the inspiring enslaved-man-turned-federal-appointee who helped propel the American and European abolitionist efforts. The site preserves Douglass’s Cedar Hill estate, where he resided from 1877 until his death in 1895 and features insight into his life, accomplishments, and bodies of work.

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Ellis Island

Approximately 12 million immigrants from around the world took their first steps on American soil at Ellis Island, and the island serves as a visual symbol of the American dream since the 1890s. Discover where you and your family fit into this story, along with artifacts and exhibits depicting the immigrant experience to New York between 1892 and 1954.


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National Civil Rights Musuem

The National Civil Rights Museum is aptly housed in Memphis’s Lorraine Motel, the site of Martin Luther King Jr. ‘s assassination in 1968. Visitors can learn about Black history, from African enslaved people arriving in the U.S. in the 17th century to the Black Power Movement and all the major civil rights milestones in between.

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National Mall

The National Mall houses some of America’s most iconic landmarks all in one place. One thousand acres of parkland, 14 individual units of the National Parks system, and more than 100 distinct monuments and memorials make this place a must-see for history buffs. The Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument are just a few of the amazing landmarks to visit at this mall.

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Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo was founded as a Native American community nearly 1,000 years ago, and 150 people still live there full time. These adobe residences are a beautiful tribute to the Native American peoples’ resourcefulness, tradition, and relationship with nature and offer a glimpse into early American life long before European ships landed ashore or Lewis and Clark headed west.

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One World Observatory and National September 11 Memorial & Museum

These hallowed grounds honor the innocent lives lost during the 9/11 terrorist attacks—and the brave men and women who came to their rescue (many of whom also lost their lives in the process). This beautiful memorial, museum, and next-generation of the World Trade Center reminds us of the resiliency of this country and its people.

Elsa Hahne

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Whitney Plantation

Whitney Plantation isn’t just another white-columned antebellum home, it’s the only plantation in Louisiana with an extensive focus on the lives and legacies of those enslaved on its property. It’s also a Black-owned plantation. This site offers a unique, detailed perspective on what it was really like to live as an enslaved person in America during the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Gettysburg National Park

Gettysburg National Military Park honors a true turning point in our nation’s Civil War, its bloodiest battle, and the inspiration behind Abraham Lincoln’s eponymous address. Whether you prefer living history demonstrations or perusing the historic halls of the home where the Gettysburg Address was completed, this park is full of rich history about a place that quickly turned from a symbol of devastation to rebirth.

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Pearl Harbor National Memorial

If you’re fortunate enough to make it to the Hawaiian island of Oahu, visiting the Pearl Harbor National Memorial is a must. The memorial preserves, interprets, and commemorates America’s involvement in WWII, beginning with the fateful event here on December 7, 1941, that started it all.

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Harvard University

Harvard is America’s first institute of higher education and remains one of the most prestigious in the world. Its Visitors Center was established in 1962, where current students provide the Official Historic Tour of Harvard, starting with its founding by John Harvard in 1636. It’s also a lovely excuse to explore the charming New England town of Cambridge, MA.

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Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

Located in what’s considered America’s oldest city—St. Augustine, Florida—Castillo de San Marcos is a beautiful 16th-century fortress set along the Atlantic Ocean. This national monument was the site of both great triumph and tribulation and is thought to have been the site of the lesser-known first Thanksgiving when the Spanish celebrated their arrival with the local Seloy tribe more than 50 years prior the the Puritan Thanksgiving we commemorate today.

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Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site

This historic site honors the first Black institution for higher education, which opened its doors—physically and socially—to our country’s former enslaved peoples in 1881. This area not only honors Booker T. Washington’s commitment to Black history and education in the U.S., but it also honors George Washington Carver’s scientific legacy at the institute, as it’s where he made incredible agricultural strides, particularly when it comes to developing hundreds of products from African staple foods: peanuts, sweet potatoes, and soybeans.

The 26 Best Bed & Breakfasts in America

Lauren Wicks
Lauren Wicks is a Birmingham-based writer covering design trends, must-have products, travel inspiration, and entertaining.

Historic site

18th century mansion on the Champs Elysees

Go to

Publication date:



Marina Volkova


Jacques Pepion

Author of the project:

Francois-Joseph Graf


de Luxe Classic N1 2011
nine0003 The 18th century Vopalier mansion is now owned by the insurance company AXA. Restoration of the interiors of the residence was entrusted to the famous French decorator François-Joseph Graf

At the beginning of the 18th century, the Champs Elysees was considered a suburb of Paris, and a rural idyll reigned here. But under Louis XV, towards the middle of the century, the courtiers turned their attention to the picturesque lands and began to build luxurious villas here. As a result, the land became fabulously expensive, and court architect Louis-Marie Colignon decided to take advantage of this. He bought a plot and built a mansion, hoping to rent it out to wealthy nobles (the first was Pierre Mainard, the Marquis de la Vaupalière, who commanded the king’s musketeers, after whom the property is named). nine0003

Colignon was guided by the neoclassical style popular in those years, the so-called a`la grec style. The building he built consisted of a central part and two lower wings, a linden alley led to the entrance. The two-story mansion was decorated with pilasters and bas-reliefs based on mythological subjects. In 1996, the AXA corporation decided to restore Vopallière, inviting the architect Ricardo Bofill, who was tasked with not only renovating the dilapidated facade, but also creating a space for informal business meetings inside the building (now the mansion is used as a kind of closed office for AXA, where negotiations take place. Ricardo handled the historical architecture very carefully: the main building retained its original appearance, and he created the necessary additional space by covering the courtyard with a glass roof. nine0003

In the 18th century, a brilliant society gathered in this mansion. All Paris came to the Vopaliers. Accordingly, the interiors were decorated on a grand scale. François-Joseph Graf, a famous French decorator who has been engaged in the restoration of historical interiors for more than a year, was invited to restore its former splendor. Under his leadership, stucco and boiserie were restored, he selected antique furnishings, authentic to the era, and also developed textile designs using archival documents. The decorator says that “collecting” such an antique interior is extremely interesting: “These things are capricious. So, for a long time I doubted that the mid-18th century music stand from the Hubert Givenchy collection would get along with the carpet from the Tuileries Palace, but in the end everything worked out. For this mansion, I managed to find unique items. Take, for example, the boule-style cabinet once presented by Louis XIV to Charles II. nine0003

Decorator François-Joseph Count:
“The Vopalier Mansion is an architectural masterpiece, it is just right to open a museum in these interiors. Of course, for four centuries he has experienced a lot. When AXA decided to restore it and contacted me, I realized that the interiors would actually have to be redone. Some decorative elements have been preserved — stucco molding, boiserie. But they needed to be seriously updated. As for the situation, things were more complicated. I selected it carefully, for a long time, I searched through antique galleries, turned to private collectors, followed auctions. As a result, I managed to pick up the rarest things worthy of being in a building of such significance «

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For the Large Living Room, the decorator found a set consisting of a sofa and eight armchairs, which was made in the first half of the 18th century by master Nicolas Heurtaut. The carpet with the royal coat of arms belongs to the Restoration period.

Vopalier Mansion
built in 1769year

All curtains, curtain tiebacks, brushes are made under the direction of François-Joseph Graf according to archival sketches

The walls of the Large Living Room are decorated with carved gilded boiserie. Desudeportes have been preserved — compositions in the form of women’s
figures symbolizing sciences and arts

The same curtains
adorn the front
halls of Versailles

In the President’s office there is a library with the image of the goddess Pomona, made by André-Charles Boulle

The massive silver chandelier in the dining room, weighing 72 kilograms, was made by court silversmith Robert II Garrard
in 1837. One of the walls is decorated with a painting by Alexandre-Francois Deporte in 1727

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Colosseum in Rome — detailed information with photo

Video: Colosseum, Italy


  • History of the Colosseum
  • Arrangement and architecture of the Colosseum
  • Bread and circuses!
  • Opening hours and ticket prices
  • How to get to the Colosseum

History of the Colosseum

Solar Colosseum

such as the Capitol). But in 72, he decided to take on a more ambitious project and commissioned the best builders in the region to build the Flavian amphitheater, which would forever mark his dynasty in world culture. Vespasian also had an ulterior motive. The foundation of the Colosseum was laid on the site of a lake near the Golden House of Nero, the predecessor and enemy of the new ruler. Such construction completely erased the traces of its existence from the map of Rome. nine0003

According to historians, about 100 thousand workers took part in the construction of the amphitheater, most of which were prisoners of war and slaves. After eight years of exhausting and non-stop work, the Colosseum was completely completed and approved by the emperor.

ColiseumColosseum inside

For the first centuries of its existence, the building really occupied a huge place in the life of the Romans and always reminded them of its founder, since until the VIII century it was called the Flavian amphitheater. Gladiatorial fights, animal fights and festive performances were regularly held here. In addition to recreational activities, executions were also carried out here, which served as the reason for the cessation of the use of the Colosseum by Emperor Constantine I. Throughout the Middle Ages, this religious building was either completely ignored by the authorities, or was used as a memorial place in honor of early Christians who died a martyr’s death. All this led to the fact that until the 18th century no one thought about the need for reconstruction and restoration of the Colosseum, and many of its parts were irretrievably destroyed. nine0003

At the end of the 19th century, the Catholic Church decided to resume work around the amphitheater in order to preserve as many of the surviving elements as possible. Thanks to this change in attitude towards the monument, the Colosseum began to attract the attention of historians, architects and art critics, who in a few decades were able to turn the once forgotten building into a symbol of European civilization.

In 2007, the New Open World Corporation held a competition in which people from all over the world were able to take part in the voting and choose those buildings that, in their opinion, are worthy of the title of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The first place was taken by the Colosseum, which became the only attraction on the list representing the heritage of European culture. nine0003

Night panorama of the Colosseum

Arrangement and architecture of the Colosseum

The arena could accommodate up to 50 thousand spectators

According to approximate estimates of scientists, the modern Colosseum is only one third of the original building, but even this fact does not detract from the grandeur of the building. At the beginning of our era, when all the inhabitants of Rome flocked to the Colosseum to watch the next gladiator fight or theatrical performance, 50,000 spectators could easily accommodate seating around the arena, and up to 18,000 could watch performances standing. Today, the capacity of the Colosseum is much smaller, but this does not prevent thousands of guests from coming to the iconic place. nine0003

An ingenious solution that greatly facilitated the construction: 240 huge arches in three tiers, lined with travertine on the outside, surround a concrete-brick ellipse, the length of the walls of which is 524 m, width — 156 m, height — 57 m. This was a revolution in world construction: the invention of concrete and terracotta bricks. For the building of the Colosseum, it took about 1 million pieces.

panoramic view

The fourth continuous tier was completed later. Today, on its cornice, you can see holes where supports were inserted to quickly stretch a huge awning over the arena and amphitheater. He protected the audience from rain and the scorching sun. On the pavement of the Colosseum, you can see the posts, the purpose of which is still controversial. According to one version, awning ropes were additionally attached to them, according to another, the 5 remaining pedestals served as turnstiles to contain and streamline the crowd. nine0003

Inside the ancient amphitheater there were vaulted galleries — places of rest for spectators and brisk trade. At first glance, there are so many “leaky” arches that they resemble numerous honeycombs in a bee hive, but at the same time there is no monotony among them. Each turns out to be at a slightly different angle both to the sun and to the viewer, so shadows fall on the arches in different ways. Pay attention — they are homogeneous, but not ordinary!

Arches of the ColosseumGladiators on the walls of the Colosseum

The first tier of the Colosseum contains 76 spans through which one could enter the amphitheater. Above them, and today you can see the Roman numerals of the numbering of the entrances. Such an atypically large number of arches made it possible to significantly increase the capacity of the amphitheater — if necessary, the audience could leave the Colosseum in 5-10 minutes. There are no buildings with a similar architectural organization anywhere in the world today! nine0003

Another interesting idea to lighten the structure of the Colosseum was the various styles of supports, which, in addition to protecting against collapse, made the structure look more airy. In the first tier, the heaviest, made of stone, there are semi-columns of the Doric order, in the second (concrete) — Ionic, and on the third — Corinthian, with elegant, decorated with foliage, capitals.

It was believed that the openings of the second and third tiers were decorated with white marble statues. However, none of them was found, which caused disputes among historians — whether they actually existed or were only in the project. nine0003

Upper tier of the Colosseum

The elliptical shape of the arena gave neither the gladiators nor the doomed animals a chance to hide from the bloodshed by hiding in a corner. The floor of the arena was paved with boards, which were easily removed when it was necessary to flood the place where naval battles were performed. Slave cells, animal cages, and other outbuildings were built later in the basement below the arena, as was the complex system of turntables and other devices that created special effects during performances. Much of the interior decoration has not been preserved. However, despite the destruction, you can carefully consider the arrangement of the premises under the arena. Perhaps the animals, gladiators, and backstage were taken to the arena by freight elevators. nine0003

It is curious that for a long time tourists visited the amphitheater only at night to admire the most beautiful illumination of the building. But scientists wanted to restore the historical glory of the Colosseum and developed exciting sightseeing tours. With their stories, guides try to immerse listeners as much as possible into the atmosphere of the past, when the foundation of the Flavian amphitheater was just being laid, thereby allowing them to see something more than ancient ruins.

Bread and circuses!

Shot from the series «Spartacus»

Panem et circenses, «bread and circuses» — this was the motto of the grandiose amphitheater in the city center for centuries! People not only wanted to be fed: they wanted entertainment. And the Colosseum provided them with a plentiful program of deadly duels and bloody battles.

The first officially recorded protest against the brutal performances in the arena dates back to 404 AD, when the monk Telemachus jumped up from his seat on the podium screaming, demanding that the fight be cancelled. Angry spectators stoned him to death. The last gladiatorial fights and baiting of animals were arranged in 523, after which the Colosseum fell into decay. In the 7th century one monk wrote: “While the Colosseum stands, Rome stands. The Colosseum will fall, and Rome will fall with it.” nine0003

Video: Aria — Colosseum

Opening hours and ticket prices

View of the Colosseum

More recently, the approach to the Colosseum was open around the clock. But the authorities of the Italian capital realized that this could negatively affect the state of the building and hurried to establish security. Now the amphitheater is open only for daytime visits from 9:00 to 19:00 in summer (April-October) and from 9:00 to 16:00 in winter (November-March). But do not despair if you did not manage to get here during the daytime, because in this case, the city planners decorated the outer walls with beautiful illumination, which is the highlight of the night Rome. nine0003

There are only two days off per year when tourists cannot visit the attraction — December 25 and January 1.

Entrance and excursion program will cost 12€ for an adult visitor and 7€ for a child (+2€ for exhibition events). Schoolchildren, students and pensioners have the opportunity to purchase a reduced ticket, but for this you need to have the relevant documents with you. The purchase itself can be a little problematic. The fact is that most tourists decide to pay for the entrance at the very walls of the Colosseum, which is why by 10:00 long lines line up at the box office. nine0003

If you want to save your time and money, order tickets on the site of the complex or purchase them at pre-sale points. In the latter case, you can get a document that allows you to visit several attractions at once.

Order online — (service available in Italian and English) and (available in Italian, English and French) — 10.50€, 12.50€ (with exhibition) . A single ticket — with the Palatine Museum, the Roman Forum — is valid for 24 hours from the date of purchase. nine0003

Information centre: 399 67 700.

You can take pictures with the gladiators at the ColosseumColiseum at night

How to get to the Colosseum

Most international flights land at the Leonardo da Vinci airport, which all Italians call Fiumicino. It is located 20 km from Rome itself, but this small distance is not so easy to overcome, given the intensity of traffic towards the capital of Italy.

Very often, tourists travel from the airport to the city by train, which departs from one of the terminals. The ticket price is 14 euros and the journey takes about 35 minutes. But in this case, it should be borne in mind that you will only get to the city station, from which you will have to go to the hotel by another means of transport. nine0003

If you are traveling with a large group, it would be most logical to take a taxi near the airport walls. These are white cars with the signature «Comune di Roma», which are the property of the city, which means they have fixed rates. The minimum cost of the trip is 40€, and then depends on the location of the hotel.

Road to the Colosseum

In addition, several bus companies operate regular flights from the airport to various parts of the city. The cost of a trip on such transport can vary from 9€ up to 20 €, so you should familiarize yourself with the price list on the website of the company of interest in advance.

Once you’re finally in Rome, getting to the Colosseum is easy. The majestic amphitheater is located at the Colosseo metro station of the same name in the very center of the city.

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