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Trajan's Market, 2006.

Trajan's Market (Latin: Mercatus Traiani, Italian: Mercati di Traiano) is a large complex of ruins in the city of Rome, Italy, located on the Via dei Fori Imperiali, at the opposite end to the Colosseum. The surviving buildings and structures, built as an integral part of Trajan's Forum and nestled against the excavated flank of the Quirinal Hill, present a living model of life in the Roman capital and a glimpse at the continuing restoration in the city, which reveals new treasures and insights about Ancient Roman architecture.[1][2][3][4]

Thought to be the world's oldest shopping mall, the arcades in Trajan's Market are now believed by many to be administrative offices for Emperor Trajan. The shops and apartments were built in a multi-level structure, and it is still possible to visit several of the levels. Highlights include delicate marble floors and the remains of a library.[5]


Trajan's Market was probably built in 100-110 AD by Apollodorus of Damascus,[1] an architect who always followed Trajan in his adventures and to whom Trajan entrusted the planning of his Forum,[2][6] and inaugurated in 113 AD.[7] During the Middle Ages the complex was transformed by adding floor levels, still visible today, and defensive elements such as the Torre delle Milizie, the "militia tower" built in 1200. A convent, which was later built in this area, was demolished at the beginning of the twentieth century to restore Trajan's Markets to the city of Rome.

Museo dei Fori Imperiali[edit]

Trajan's Market, Rome.

The new Italian: Museo dei Fori Imperiali ("Museum of the Imperial Fora), closed on Mondays, houses a wealth of artifacts from all of ancient Rome's forums. The modern entrances to Trajan's Market are at Via Quattro Novembre, 94,[8] and Piazza Madonna di Loreto.[7] Immediately, the visitor enters into a shopping area, disposed on two different sides, where free wheat was once distributed to the people of Rome.[5]

At the end of this hall, a large balcony offers a beautiful view of the markets, the Trajan's Forum, and the Vittoriano. This is actually a part of the Via Biberatica (from biber meaning drink, the location for most of the Roman taverns and grocers' shops), the road that starts from the entrance and divides Trajan's Market.[5]

On the lower part there are also two large halls, probably used for auditions or concerts. A shop housed in the Market is known as a taberna. The giant exedra formed by the market structure was originally mirrored by a matching exedral boundary space on the south flank of Trajan's Forum.

The market is roofed by a concrete vault raised on piers, both covering and allowing air and light into the central space. The market itself is constructed primarily out of brick and concrete.[6]


Trajan's Market

A photograph showing the landscape of the Trajan's Market in 2000.
Landscape of the Trajan's Market in 2000
A photograph showing the view of the Trajan's Market from Via Biberatica (2006).
View of the Trajan's Market from Via Biberatica (2006)

References and sources[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°53′44″N 12°29′10″E / 41.895582°N 12.486015°E / 41.895582; 12.486015

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trajan's_Market — Please support Wikipedia.
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