Mercati di Traiano
The Markets of Trajan
Built by the Emperor Trajan, the markets were a commercial center of about 150 shops and offices, set into the side of the Quirinal Hill and completing Trajan's Forum, which it overlooked. Both monumental and functional, it is typical of ancient Roman architecture. The semicircular brick building is set into the hill above which are tiers of terraces ascending the slope. At the upper end of the hill, a two-story market hall with a series of groin vaults was lined with shops on either side of a central promenade with a balcony level and clerestory openings above.
The brick facades are detailed with brickwork arches and pediments and travertine lintels, and the markets are a magnificent demonstration of concrete and brick construction, with vaults and arches throughout.