Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Trajan's Market

John and I fully enjoyed our visit to Trajan's Market built by Emperor Trajan from 100-110 AD. He had his favourite architect, Apollodorus of Damascus, design the huge shopping complex which was one of the wonders of the Ancient World. Here I've captured a self-portrait while shooting through the glass protecting the main hall of the market.
When we visited the market at Via Quattro Novembre, 94, there was a wonderful exhibition of 60 large prints of the William Klein's fabulous ROMA series , taken between 1956-1962. It's on til July 25th, 2010 and not to be missed. 
The main hall of the market originally had the offices for distribution of free wheat to Romans, one of the ways Roman emperors calmed the poorer citizenry. 
The rooms off the hall now contain pieces of masonry that decorated the original building.
John always enjoys photographing the way modern hardware fits into old structures.
Outside and bisecting the Market is Via Biberatica, which was once lined with drinking inns. The well-preserved ruins are very evocative, making me want to continue reading the detective tales of Lindsay Davis, set in Augustan Rome and featuring a Roman gumshoe, Falco, and his upper-class girlfriend, Helena Justina.
Glimpses of cleaning staff just reinforce that evocative quality to the site. Probably the fact that the Market is visited by far fewer fellow tourists than the Imperial Forums across the street allows the imagination to blossom here.
Here's the huge curved front of the lower part of the market, once facing Trajan's Forum and now facing the tourist magnet, Via dei Fori Imperiali.


  1. so beautiful - Trajan's market is a place i've never been to, but walked by, so i'm very glad to see these pics. obviously it'll be on my list next time.

  2. Do visit the Market, Janice. We found it much more evocative of life in ancient Rome than the more popular and crowded Imperial Forums.