Trajan’s Forum was the last and the largest of the Imperial Forums that formed the political and governmental center of the Roman Empire. The complex consisted of the basilica, two libraries, markets and huge temple. It was created in 106 AD by Apollodorus of Damascus, the most famous architect of the era. Several streets and many significant buildings had to be removed for this ambitious project.
At the time of the construction the Forum was seen as one of the architectural wonders of the world due to its impressive size measuring 300 meters long and 185 meters wide. The main entrance to the Trajan’s Forum led to a large courtyard with two colonnaded porticos decorated with numerous statues. At the center of the courtyard stood an enormous equestrian statue.
To the north the courtyard was bordered by the Basilica Ulpia, an amazing basilica named after Trajan’s second name. Impressive structure had five naves, divided by colonnades and featured a coffered ceiling. The hall of the basilica was decorated with precious metals, reliefs and a colorful marble floor with geometric patterns.
Column of Trajan
Behind the Basilica Ulpia was a small courtyard bordered by Greek and Latin libraries. There you will find gorgeous Column of Trajan erected to commemorate the victory of Trajan over the Dacians. This is one of the best preserved ancient monuments which is embellished with a spiraling frieze with bas-reliefs showing the story of the conquest of Dacia. The column’s height marked the top of the hill that was leveled to make way for the forum.
There were also designed the Markets of Trajan which is a six stories high complex with shops, offices and depots. The structure was the equivalent of the modern shopping center. There were also plans to create a temple of the forum, but Trajan’s sudden death delayed the construction.
Location: Via dei Fori Imperiali, Rome
Nearby sights: Trajan’s Column, Imperial Forums, Trajan’s Markets
How to get there: Subway: Colosseo (B)
Nearby hotels: Traiano Hotel, Hotel Cosmopolita, Nerva Boutique Hotel