Another brick in the wall . . .
Where have I seen wall on wall of bricks? The title of this Pink Floyd song immediately brought to mind our visit to the Colosseum in Rome. So many bricks, so many walls, such a vast and fascinating place.
The Colosseum, a world landmark, sits in the middle of Rome, visited by masses of people year round. Construction started in AD 70 and finished about 20 years later. Today, this grand structure is officially a ruin. Stones, bronze, and bricks were “borrowed” through the years, leaving the Colosseum without some of the top level. The roof over the gladiator dressing area is long gone. The ruined nature of the Colosseum adds to the romance and intrigue.
Here’s a description of what went on here, according to the museum on site:
“The spectacle day began in the morning with the presentation of all the participants. This was followed by the hunts, in which hunters tackled wild animals lurking among sets replicating the geographical contexts from which they came. During the lunch interval, when executions took place, the condemned, naked, and unarmed faced the wild beasts which would eventually tear them to pieces. During the intervals there were performances by jugglers, acrobats, and magicians. . . . Finally, gladatorial combats were held in the afternoon.”
Here’s a rendering of what the Colosseum may have looked like in its heyday.
It’s evident that thousands upon thousands of bricks were laid in complex patterns.
The top level is being rebuilt. Scaffolding lines part of it, and a bit of it recently reopened to tourists.
A platform reaches over part of the bottom level and holds groups of people.
We were able to join a tour with this lovely Italian young lady as our guide.
She took us below the main level, where we got to picture what the gladiators saw as they entered the arena.
Our guide pointed out that some of the blocks and bricks overhead hold together without mortar. I think I walked pretty quickly under these freestanding giant stones, but they have been hanging there for centuries so far.
If you visit the Colosseum today, you learn that scholars are still trying to piece together its history. We know that people and animals died here, and that gladiators fought bravely, both by force and by choice. If only these bricks could talk, what stories they could tell . . .
How about you? Have you visited a historical place that piqued your imagination?
Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, Life Thru the Lens, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. Some photos are edited with Kim Klassen’s Lightroom preset Organic. Also linking up with the song-inspired party, Song-ography, where the song is “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd. The song actually has nothing to do with real bricks, but I’m taking just the title for this post.