Mercati e Foro di Traiano

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Home > History of the... > The Markets of Trajan during its use as a convent
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A graphical reconstruction of the Markets of Trajan during its use as a convent

In 1574 Pope Pio V of the Ghisleri family gifted the complex to the Convent of Saint Catherine of Siena and the architect Sallustio Peruzzi was given the responsibility of redeveloping the site for the convent’s needs. He was the first person to radically transform the ancient buildings; tearing apart the original special organisation and the internal and external communications. Ultimately, after Rome became the capital of a united Italy in 1885, the convent was acquisitioned by the State and became the “Goffredo Mameli” barracks.

In the interim, at the start of the 19th century, during the Napoleonic occupation of Rome, the first excavations of the Ulpia Basilica in the Forum of Trajan were planned. These were actually carried out by Pope Pio VII and the far southern end of the Great Hemicycle was unearthed bringing to light the section of the basalt road that linked the market complex for the Forum of Trajan.

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