If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw the three photos I published last week from when I visited the remains of the Colosseum in Rome in 2012. Today I’m going to share one extra Colosseum photo that’s not on Instagram, though I’ll probably upload it there later this month. This photo was taken on a different day than those other three photos and I like it because it gives a better view of the Colosseum’s structure. In the center of the photo you can see that the Colosseum’s two outermost layers have been stripped away, exposing the inner stones and bricks. On the left side you can see what remains of those outer two layers and the photo almost reminds me of one of those cutout diagrams that show what a building looks like on the inside. Of course, I think we’d all prefer that the Colosseum had been perfectly preserved instead, but unfortunately 2,000 years of natural decay and stone robbing have left us with the partially ruined structure that we see today. For the best view of what the Colosseum’s exterior looked like in its prime, go to the north side which is the only side that’s still largely intact.

One more interesting thing to note about the Colosseum is that the area around it is one of the very few parts of Rome that is still at the same level as it was 2,000 years ago. Almost all of the rest of Rome is several feet higher than it was in antiquity due to thousands of years of the cycle of construction and destruction, but the ground at the Colosseum is still at the same elevation as when it was built.

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