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.

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

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Gary Broxup (12 months ago)
If you know the story of Trajans column ,it's good to see it
Fernando Medina (15 months ago)
Good ruins and it’s free
Dominik Debciuch (20 months ago)
Nice ancient site of Rome. Looks well at night.
Joe Ferrier (2 years ago)
Probably our favorite stop in Rome, second to only St Peter's. I recommend coming in via Trajan's Column, near the Victor Emmanuel monument, and giving it a few hours! Bring a water bottle, especially in warm weather, as there is little shade but a few water fountains to refill it with clean cold water. Highlights were the great view from the hill above the Forum, and the old marble floor of the Senate. 6/5 stars!
Patricia Gaddis (2 years ago)
Had an excellent guide, very knowledgeable about the history of the site. So much to see and experience, we'll worth the time it takes to walk through. Fill your water bottle while you are touring the site at the fountain on your way in. Don't miss this place!
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