Remains of the oldest shopping centre in ancient Rome, which is an illustration of trading character of the inhabitants

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Trajan's Market

It may have been the first shopping centre in history

This ancient market is the first example of a shopping centre in the entire history of civilizations. Rome had a huge trading activity because of the port being so near the city. That is why, between the years 100 and 110 AD, the emperor Trajan commissioned Apollodorus of Damascus, one of the most famous architects of the time, to take charge of the construction of this huge covered market. He erected six floors that housed 150 business on the 2,000 metre surface that was and is in the middle of Via Nazionale, a few metres away from from the Piazza Venezia. It became the city's trading centre in a city which, in those times, had a population of one million inhabitants. Inexplicably, Trajan's market has not been as popular as other Roman monuments, such as the Colosseum, and so the building has fallen into oblivion. Before being declared in ruins, there was a careful restoration performed, and now it can be visited again. It is surprising that the building has remained virtually intact despite the passage of time. From the central courtyard, each of the arches can be seen, where light passed through, into the ancient shops, the same as each of the marble terminations on the walls.

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