Trajan's Forum

Rome, Italy

Trajan's Forum was the last of the Imperial fora to be constructed in ancient Rome. It was built on the order of the emperor Trajan with the spoils of war from the conquest of Dacia, which ended in 106. The Forum was inaugurated in 112, while Trajan's Column was erected and then inaugurated in 113.

The Forum consisted of a vast portico-lined piazza measuring 300 metres long and 185 metres wide exedrae on two sides. The main entrance to the forum lay on the southern side, via a triumphal arch surmounted by a statue of Trajan in a six-horse chariot. The Basilica Ulpia lies at the north end of the piazza, which was cobbled with rectangular blocks of white marble and decorated by a large equestrian statue of Trajan. On either side of the piazza are markets, also housed by the exedrae.

North of the Basilica was a smaller piazza, with a temple dedicated to the deified Trajan on the far north side facing inwards. The position of - and very existence of - the temple dedicated to the deified Trajan is a matter of hotly contested debate among archaeologists, particularly clear in the ongoing debate between James E. Packer and Roberto Meneghini. Directly north of the Basilica Ulpia on either side of the forum were two libraries, one housing Latin documents and the other Greek documents. Between the libraries stood the 38-metre Trajan's Column.

In the mid-9th century, the marble cobble blocks of the piazza were systematically taken for re-use, because of the good quality of the lime. At the same time, the pavement was restored in wrought as a sign that the piazza was still in use as a public space.

In modern times only a section of the markets and the column of Trajan remain. A number of columns which historically formed the Basilica Ulpia remained on site, and have been re-erected. Today Trajan's forum has become well known for its large population of feral cats.



Your name

Website (optional)


Founded: 112 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jane Elizabeth Roberts (16 months ago)
An ancient Roman shopping centre with great views of Trajan's column from the top floor. Much better preserve and much less crowded than the older forum over the road from it.
Paul Brown (17 months ago)
The forum itself has been excavated some time ago, and it's easy to walk around and look at. The famous column -- topped by an anachronistic but unapologetic and probably long forgotten Pope -- punctuates the northern end. But that's all. No explanation of the historical context, floor plan, etc. It might as well be a Roman chariot park for all anyone can learn.
Jiřina Lysáková (17 months ago)
A place I did not see as I wish. I did not have enough energy to be able to see this, and it was good. I liked this place and I look forward to another visit. When I can spend more time with this place. Many times we went around the night and it's really magical. Everything is illuminated and has a film effect.
Intertraveler (17 months ago)
Great place. Within walking distance to tons of other tourist spots as well as restaurants and coffee shops. In sure you will be nearby if you are checking other famous places in this city, so stop by here to take a look or to rest your feet. You won't regret it.
Caleb Smith (18 months ago)
Beautiful area with quite important historical value. We had a tour guide to explain everything which was quite helpful to really grasp the historical part. Very glad they preserved the area, even though much of the area is in crumbles from everything that has happened over the many many years.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Medieval Walls of Avila

The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.

The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.