Trajan’s Column is an impressive monument that celebrates the victory of Rome and Emperor Trajan over the Dacians in the two Dacian Wars. Construction of the column was completed in the year 113. Trajan’s Column history favors the hypothesis that the column was built under the architectural guidance of Apollodorus of Damascus. It is located in Trajan’s Forum, also constructed by Apollodorus of Damascus, providing further credibility to the thought that it was he who was commissioned to design the intricate and ornate column. The column itself and the amazingly intricate bas reliefs that spiral up the shaft. The monument is 98 feet high, not including the pedestal, which puts Trajan’s Column at a lofty 125 feet.
Trajan’s Column history tells us that it was no easy architectural or manual feat to construct this immense structure. The actual shaft of the column is made from twenty marble drums that each weigh a whopping 40 tons with a diameter of 11 feet. The frieze, or decorative band, that is carved into the formidable column is 625 feet long. To get to the top of the column, you will need to climb 185 stairs. Then you will be able to enjoy the breathtaking vistas from the viewing platform at the top. Originally, there was a statue of Trajan himself atop the column, but sometime during the Middle Ages, the statue was lost. Pope Sixtus V was happy to accommodate and on December 4, 1587, the top of Trajan’s Column was adorned with a statue of his likeness, holding a bronze figure of Saint Peter. When you travel to Rome and explore some of the attractions near Trajan’s Column, you will find that you can spend hours just staring at the intricacy of the carvings on the bas reliefs and statues that adorn the very streets upon which you walk.
If you decide to visit Trajan’s Column, you will see this very same statue of Pope Sixtus V some 420 years later. One of the amazing things about taking a trip to Rome, or spending time in Rome in general, is that you get to experience so many ancient and historically significant sights. If you are into sightseeing, you will have no shortage of things to see or places to go. The only difficulty may come when you are forced to decide between all of the various attractions near Trajan’s Column, like the Forum, and many other places within the city center, like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the many Roman museums. Attractions near Trajan’s Column include the two churches it stands between, Santa Maria di Loreto and Santissimo Nome di Maria, and the Rome National Monument.
Trajan’s Column history goes back to the time of ancient Rome. Various walking tours provide you with the opportunity of seeing some of these kinds of sights with knowledgeable guides who can explain the ins and outs of the attractions. Consider spending a day at the Piazza di Colonna Trajana the next time you are in Rome. It is a pleasant area filled with delightful sights and plenty of places to cool off and have a drink or bite to eat.
Top image: Ruben Holthuijsen (flickr)