The Markets of Trajan is an architectural complex adjacent to the Forum of Trajan, built between 100-122 AD under the guidance of architect Apollodorus of Damascus. It was excavated into the Quirinal Hill and is commonly referred to as Trajan’s Market. The complex is a multi-level commercial structure that served as the epicenter of trade, commerce, and administrative activities of the Forum, where shops and offices were located. The grand hall of the market is roofed by a concrete vault raised on piers, covering and allowing air and light into the central space.
The hemicircular building is made with concrete and bricks and consists of six levels connected by one steep staircase. The distribution of corn or wheat dole outs was held here. Trajan’s Column, a triumphal monument stands in the middle of a courtyard surrounded by galleries covered with low-relief sculpture. The column’s purpose is to commemorate Trajan’s victory in Dacian wars, and its construction was under the supervision of architect Apollodorus.
The Markets of Trajan is a historical complex that showcases the Roman’s impressive engineering and architectural skills. The structure’s multi-level construction, sophisticated design, and the column’s intricately crafted artwork are a testament to the remarkable work of Roman artisans. It is a vital display of the Roman way of life as an essential crossroad of trade, commerce, and administration. Today, visitors can take a tour of the complex and witness the intricate design and artwork that have stood the test of time.