If you happen to be wandering around Croatia, be sure to go to Pula. And if you happen to be wandering around Pula, be sure you go to the amphitheater.
Generally called the Pula Arena, the amphitheater was built a long time ago. And by “a long time ago” I mean somewhere between 27 BCE and 68 AD. Or possibly all those years. It’s a big coliseum. That’s about the same time The Coliseum was built in Rome (just so you have a reference point).
The Pula Arena is the best preserved of the coliseums (colisei?) being the only remaining Roman amphitheater to have four side towers and all its side and parts (except the women’s restrooms which are mysteriously missing).
The amphitheater is made out of limestone and it’s big. But if you want the dimensions you’ll have to look them up yourself since I’m perfectly content with “big” as a descriptor. It had bunches (again, a fine number in my opinion) of shops probably with signs that said “restrooms for patrons only.” There were 15 gates to let in up to 23,000 spectators who came to gawk at gladiators.
Which raises the question: Were gladiators generally glad? I doubt it, but I’m not aware of any time travel experiments to study gladiator personality.
Maximus: What we do in life echoes in eternity.
After the Romans were finished with the arena, they left it lying right where they’d thrown it. During the middle ages, people used the arena for grazing their livestock. This made things complicated (logistically speaking) when the knights (not of the round table) wanted to hold tournaments there. Guess who got use of the land?
Maximus: Strength and honor.
These days the Arena seats about 5,000 people. This is only partly due to the enlargement of bodies. Concerts, film festivals, equestrian events, and the opera regularly call the Arena home. More importantly (depending on how you look at these things), two professional ice hockey games were played there in 2012.
Quotes because I love you not because they have anything to do with the arena.
Tigris: We who are about to die, salute you!