Trajan & Imperial Forums, Rome
built in the 2nd century AD trajan's market is considered one of the marvels of the classical world. this multi level building housed shops selling silks and spices from the middle east, produce, clothing, as well as restaurants and drinking establishments.
Trajan's Market is located at Via dei Fori Imperiale, at the opposite end to the Colosseum, and is the ancient roman market or shopping center. You can walk through the market and imagine yourself back in the days of the Roman Empire. From there, you can also have beautiful views of the Vittoriano.
Entrance of Trajan's Market is in Via IV Novembre
Trajan's Forum is the last of the imperial forums that were built by successive emperors to expand the original Roman Forum. It was designed by the renowned architect Apollodorus of Damascus and was completed during the reign of Trajan's successor Hadrian. The Basilica Ulpia, the largest basilica in ancient Rome, was part of Trajan's forum. Sadly, much of it now lies under the modern road Via dei Fori Imperiali. A large equestrian statue of Trajan also once stood here. The most visible and well-preserved monument in Trajan's forum is of course Trajan's column.
Trajan's Market, adjacent to Trajan's Forum, is a large semicircular building which consisted of many small shops. This was a thriving market in ancient times, where the people of Rome would come to make all their daily purchases. The original market was built on two levels; additional levels were added during the middle ages, along with the brick tower called the Torre delle Milizie, which is visibly leaning. Though much of the market is visible from the street, if you want to walk around inside the building it is open to visitors for a fee; access is from Via IV Novembre.
Photo by saridder
This massive column stands in Trajan's Forum, which is part of Trajan's Forum across the street from the original Roman Forum. The column, which stands 38 metres high, was built in 113 A.D. to honour the emperor Trajan for his two victorious campaigns against Dacia (what is now Romania). The story of the campaigns is told in intricate detail through the bas-relief sculpture that winds all the way up the column. There are around 2500 figures in these battle scenes, 59 of which are of the emperor Trajan himself. Inside the column, a spiral staircase also winds up to the top. This is not open to the public though, so the only one who can see the gorgeous view from up there is the bronze statue of St. Peter which now crowns the monument. Peter was put there by the Pope in 1588, replacing the statue of Trajan which stood there in ancient times. When Trajan died in 117 A.D., his ashes were buried in a golden urn inside the base of the column, though they are not there now.
The Imperial Forums are composed with: Caesar's Forum, August's Forum, Peace's Forum, Nerva's Forum and Trajan's Forum. Following the example of Julius Caesar who built the first forum of the set in 46 b. C., all the most important Roman emperors wanted to leave their sign building a forum called after their name.
The archaeological area is one of the richest in the world, and for all the lovers of ancient art and history the visit to the Imperial Forums represents one of the most suggestive stages Rome can offer. The most important among the various forums that compose the set is Trajan's Forum. Within the Trajan's Forum, the Trajan's Column is placed, that represents through its figures the Roman Empire's victories. After the Empire's decadence all this area was covered by debrises century after century and at the beginning of the '900 the result was that the roman forums was completely replaced by normal houses built in different moment and styles. With the arrival of fascist regime, Mussolini ordered to pull down all the buildings, making resident people move to alternate areas, and the Roman Forums were dig up for a new shining dress.
This road runs from the Colosseum to the Vittorio Emanuele II monument and passes many of Romes great sights, a must to walk along. Try not to go when it's busy to enjoy it more. Sunday mornings there are street entertainers, market stalls and about 50% if the population in attendance!
After having won the battle of Philippi in the year 42 B.C. and having Ceasar's death revenged, emperor Augustus decided to build a new forum next to Ceasar's forum. Main part of the forum was the temple of Mars Ultor (Mars the avenger) where Ceasar's sword was placed. The forum was inaugurated on August 1st of the year 2 B.C. - the first day of the month which was named after the emperor. Several statues were placed in the forum and so this forum was used more for prestigious reasons and to keep traditions alive than as an extension of the other forums. Unfortunately, this forum suffered more from Mussolini's architectural plans than the others and so a large part is covered now by his prestige boulevard, which is now the Via dei Fori Imperiali.
The Forum of Augustus is not accesible to the public, but you can have a look onto it from the Via Alessandrina. The building with the three large columns is the temple of Mars Ultor.
Trajan's Forum is the youngest of the imperial forums and the first you will se when coming from Piazza Venezia / Via del Corso. It mainly consists of the "Basicila Ulpia" (a large building probably used by justice and education authorities), the impressive markets of Trajan and Trajan's temple. There are also some smaller buildings including a triumphal arch leading from/to the forum of Augustus and the well known Trajan's column (please have a look at my or other traveller's tips to learn more about this column). The markets of Trajan, seen in the picture, could be regarded as the first kind of shopping mall as we know it today: It was a complex of around 150 shops where goods from all over the empire were available.
Please note that during the past few years opening times and fees have changed and are changing (mostly due to construction or archeological work access to one or other place is limited), so please contact a local tourist information if you want to visit the markets. Just have in mind that the markets have more limited opening hours than the Forum Romanum, the Colosseum or the Palatinum. If you do not have a lot of time (like I did that day), visit the three mentioned places and have a look onto Trajan's forum from the Via Alessandrina.
The ancient market place and center of civil life in Rome was in this forum. The road known as the sacred way bisects the forum which is full of the ruins of temples, markets and city buildings.
There is no charge for visiting the forums.
The Forum of Augustus was built to celebrate Augustus's victory in 41 BC over Brutus and Cassius, the assassins of Julius Caesar. As a consequence the temple in it's centre was dedicated to Mars the Avenger. The temple, with it's cracked steps and four Corinthian columns, is easily identified (see photo). Originally it had a statue of Mars that looked very like Augustus himself.
Trajan began to build his forum in AD 107 to commemorate his final conquest of Dacia (present day Romania) after successful campaigns in AD 101-2 and 105-6. His new forum was the most ambitious yet, with a vast colonnaded open space centring on an equestrian statue of the emperor, a huge basilica and two big libraries.
Dominating the Forum ruins is Trajan's Column spiralling up 30m (98ft) high. Squalled detailed scenes from the Dacian campaigns, beginning with the Roman's preparing for war and ending with the Dacians being ousted from their homeland, fill the entire length of the column. The reliefs were designed to be seen from viewing platforms located by two libraries.
Legend has it that it’s from this tower that Nero watched the city burn, playing the lyre. In actual fact, this tower was built only in the XIII century, by Pope Gregory IX. It originally had three levels, of which now two remain.
The column at the Trojan Forum was dedicated to Ulpio Trajano, and commemorates his great expeditions and war winnings against the Dacius. It's 40 metres high and a statue of Saint Peter is in the top, since 1587, done by the artist T. Della Porta.
On the column and in a spiral way, the battles are carved in marble with perfect detail. At the base of the column there is a funerary cell, where the emperor's ashes are supposed to be.
Because of Rome's expansion, it seemed to be that just one forum wasn't enough. That is why the Imperial Forums were constructed. The first one was made done by Julius Caesar by the end of the Republic. Thus, the Julius Forum was constructed. After that, many more were constructed: the Augustus Forum, the Vespasian Forum, the Nerva Forum and the Trajean Forum.
One next to each other you can see and feel the huge expansion of Rome, and how it came to be one of the biggest empires of the World.