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Trajan's Market (Lat. Mercatus Triani) is something of an enigma. It's a fairly well-known structure, but even today, historians don't really know exactly what it was, or how it functioned. It's a large complex, located now on the Via dei Fori Imperiali, at the far end of the Colosseum. It's built into an excavated section of the Quirinal Hill, and was an astounding feat of engineering in its day. It was built in the early second century, probably from about 100-110 AD. It was designed by Apollodorus of Damascus, a favorite of the emperor Trajan.

Some claim that it's the world's oldest "shopping mall," but it was probably multi-functional, including space for both retail and possibly wholesale shoping, administrative offices, and even apartments, all housed within a multi-level structure that included marble floors and even a library. There are some 150 different "shops" or rooms, including apartments. The structure was altered in the middle ages, with the addition of floors and defensive fortifications, added in 1200 AD. There's also a large balcony, and two large halls, possibly used for performances. There's now a museum, the Museum of the Imperial Fora, located on the site, which opened in 2007. It houses various artifacts from Rome's many fora.

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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 78 N: 1134] (2018)
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