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Market of Trajan Upper Exterior

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Market of Trajan Upper Exterior
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Photo Comments

View of the four upper floors of the six-storey hemicycle—Market of Trajan.  In the lower center notice the green curved pavement.  This is where a street ran—the Via Biberatica.  The white marble entrances to four shops that open on to this street are clearly visible, and on the opposite side of the street the stubs of walls of additional shops are visible.

The structure in the upper left, with modern windows, is the large Courtyard of the Market—that is still preserved on two levels!  It might be that the rooms on floors above the four doors housed shops or administrative offices or served as apartments.

The small curved area in extreme lower left drops down two additional storeys to the surface of the Forum that the Market faced.

The Market of Trajan was designed by Apollodorus of Damascus, Trajan's architect, and built in A.D. 100–110.  It is built into the Quirinal Hill, which had to be excavated away.  It is preserved in places to six–storeys and contained 170 rooms!

The "market" had a variety of functions: shops for merchants, administrative offices for the government, and apartments.  Today it houses a museum—Museu dei Fori Imperiali—in which artifacts from the various Imperial Fora are on display.