Trajan's Market and The Museum of the Imperial Forums, Rome
The Museum of the Imperial Forums and the connected to it Trajan's Market are one of the most visited attractions in Rome. It is immediately worth noting that you should not confuse the Imperial forums with the Roman forum – these are somewhat different complexes, although their stories are intertwined. Imperial forums are a complex of architectural monuments of Rome in the period of the early Roman Empire (approximately 1 century BC). The Museum of the Imperial Forum not only shows the preserved exhibits of antiquity, but it is also an important architectural and historical landmark, the same as the surviving walls of the Trajan's Market.
"Imperial Forums" is the name of the five monumental complexes, the construction of which took place from 46 BC to 113 year AD:
- Caesar Forum is the most ancient construction of the complex, built in 46 BC. Caesar built this forum as an extension of the Roman Forum. Earlier, in its northern part the temple of Venus and the Silver basilica (that served as an antique exchange place) were located. During the reign of Hadrian, a few shopping malls and workshops appeared there. Antique chronicles tell that gilt bronze statues of Caesar and Cleopatra were located in the forum.
- Augustus Forum was built by the Emperor Augustus in 2 BC. Its main attraction was the temple of Mars from Carrara marble. The statue of the god of war was surrounded by sculptures of Venus, Eros and Fortune. Until now, only a few columns, stairs and niches have been preserved.
- Temple of Peace or Vespasian Forum was built in 75 CE in honor of the victory of the Romans over the Jews. The temple did not serve for religious services. Here there was a library, a museum, a bank and so on. The Temple of the Peace was destroyed by the Visigoths in 410 and after that it was never restored. It is assumed that today the remnants of the temple and forum are located somewhere under the Via dei Fori Imperiali.
- Nerva Forum was completed in 98 under the reign of the Roman emperor Mark Nerva. The temple of Minerva was also built on the forum. Until now, only a few columns and a relief with the image of a goddess have survived.
- Trajan Forum was built by the emperor Trajan in 113 in honor of the victory of Rome over Dacia in 106. At the same time, the Trajan column was installed, which has survived to our days. There were urns with the ashes of Trajan and his wife in the column.
The last of the constructed – the Forum of Trajan – was opened in 113 AD. Later, the famous Trajan's Market was opened. The forums were built on the money and other resources won during the wars. Each forum was built according to the wishes of the ruler of that time, who promised peace and prosperity.
Ancient Roman architect Apollodorus from Damascus worked on building a five-story shopping complex. The terraces that make up the floors were built on the hillside. About 150 taverns, shops and other things were opened in the Trajan's Market. At that time the design was unique. Bricks, concrete, stones were used. The fire wall separated the market from the Trajan Forum.
In the Middle Ages the market was completed. For example, there was the Tower of the Militia, which can be seen today.
The market of Trajan is one of the best preserved parts of the imperial forums. It is here that the Museum of the Imperial Forum was opened, where you can see not only the structure itself, but also numerous exhibits telling about the history of the imperial forums.
How to get there
The modern entrance to Trajan's Market is on Via Quattro Novembre, 94. To get there, you can take the subway line B, get off at Colosseo station and take a walk on Via dei Fori Imperiali.
You can also take buses number 85, 87, 51, 117.
Opening hours: daily from 9:30 to 19:30. And on December 24 and 31 – from 9:30 to 14:00. Closed on: 1 January, 1 May, 25 December.