Trajan’s Column is the only monument in the Roman Forum that has reached us practically intact. The column, together with its base, reaches to a height of almost 40m and is an indication of the original height of the ‘saddle’ of the Quirinal Hill, which was cut into to build Trajan’s Forum.
The extraordinary reliefs that cover Trajan’s Column, forming a spiral of almost 200m in length that could almost be unravelled like a roll of film, portray the victorious military campaigns led by Trajan against the Dacians; conflicts that made the borders on the Danube secure. There are around 2,500 carved figures. On the base are carved trophies of arms and there is a small door behind which a burial chamber once contained an urn with the ashes of Trajan. A statue of the emperor was positioned at the top of the column, but at the end of the 16th century this was replaced with a statue of St Peter.