Trajan’s Column in Rome is located in front of the Madonna di Loreto Church and the Santissima Nome di Maria Church, at the end of a walking path along the Fori Imperiali. It is decorated with a relief that spirals up the monument. The statue on top of the monument is not, as would seem likely, Trajan himself, but Saint Peter.
Trajan’s Column Rome
Adress: Via dei Fori Imperiali – Rome. District: Rione Campitelli. Opening hours and admission: The Colonna Traiana can be viewed from outside.
History and description
Trajan’s Column is completely made of marble and was raised in the year 113. It was the first time in history a column was decorated with similar reliefs. It has a height of over 30 meters. The sculpted reliefs, that depict the emperor’s victories in Dacia (part of what is now Romania), wind themselves 23 times around the column.
The story starts with the crossing of the Danube on a boat bridge and ends with Dacians being deported. The walking path leading up to the monument is lined with pictures of the entire series of reliefs.
The enormous square base of the column is also decorated with bas reliefs.
The monument was built to be the emperor’s own tomb. A portal leads to a space where the urn with his remains was preserved. A spiral staircase inside the column leads all the way to the top.
The panel above this entrance, which is supported by two victories, has an inscription dedicated to the emperor.
The statue on top of Trajan’s Column does not depict Trajan. The original statue of the emperor was removed during by Pope Sixtus V in the 16th century and replaced by one depicting Saint Peter.
The monument was not always white, but painted in a variety of colors. Every so often there are special events recreating the original through the use of light beams.
The Museo della Civiltà Romana has a section showing plaster copies of the reliefs.