How Trajan’s Column Was Built

Trajan’s Column is a triumphal column in Rome built in commemoration of the Roman Emperor Trajan’s victory in the Dacian Wars. It’s construction was completed in 113 AD, and it is famous for its spiral bas relief depicting the Dacian Wars.

Trajan's Column in Rome

The column in 30 metres in height, and it consists of 20 colossal marble blocks each weighing 32 tons with a diameter of 3.7 m. Moreover, the capital block was 53.3 tons and had to be lifted 34 m height. So, how was it constructed?

Trajan's Column in Rome
Norma Fincher
detail from Trajan's Column
Nick O

It is thought that in order to lift the blocks, a wooden tower was built around the site. The marble blocks were lifted by a system consisting of ropes, pulleys, and capstans. Workforce of men and animals functioned as the source of power. A spiral stair was also carved inside the spiral blocks so that the workers could climg up and place the joints of blocks. The craftmanship of the stone workers was so masterful that the staircase was almost even. The column also survived numerous earthquakes thanks to its rather endurable and properly fitting joints.

Here is an animation featuring how Trajan’s Column was built.