Backgrounds of monuments in order of year built, Trajan’s Column was designed by the architect Apollodorus of Damascus and commissioned by the Roman Senate in 107, it took six years to be built, therefore, the column was completed in 113 DA. The column measures 126 feet high and it used to end with a bronze statue of Trajan. The carvings on the tower represent different scenes of the narrative of the Dacian campaigns and wars, depicting different experiences his soldiers went through in different parts of the territory.
Moreover, it is located in Rome, Italy at the end of the Roman Forum, which is covered by ruins of previous structures that used to serve for different purposes. Such forum now serves as tourist attraction representing vital events from the past. Furthermore, Trajan’s column can be seen from extremely far distances since it reaches a vast height, which is interesting since the connection and the impression one gets from below being an (approx. ) 6-foot tall human is a curious relationship that represents power. The power by the emperor and commissioners wanting to portray himself as superior and limit the rest of the people below.
In addition, Pope Sixtus V ordered the bronze statue at the top to be replaced with one of St. Peters during the Renaissance; this change represented the sanctification of the ancient monument. On the other hand, the Alamo Cenotaph is a 60 -feet stone monument located in front of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, United States, and it commemorates the sacrifice of the Battle of the Alamo. Furthermore, it depicts the people who fought on the side of Texas, never surrendered nor retreated, in such important battle and gloriously died in the historic building next to the monument, the famous Alamo, which led to Texas’ independence.
The monument was designed by Adams and Adams architects, engineer Amelia Williams, and commissioned to sculptor Pompeo Coppini 100 years after the battle, in 1936, by the state of Texas, and completed in 1940. The marble and granite monument located in the plaza where the Alamo is, has its own smaller plaza surrounding it with several designed paths that draw people to it by its long-axis ends (north and south facades). On the other hand, facing Alamo St. one can appreciate the carvings of some of the heroes, and facing the Alamo itself are the rest of them.
The two ends facing the paths are two distinct carved figures, on the north facade, a woman representing the state of Texas with the shields of the state and country, and on the south, main facade there is the “idealistic figure” of the spirit of sacrifice who is rising from the sloped capstone towards the sky. The leaders portrayed on the latter monument are the Texan soldiers who fought in the battle of the Alamo, and although very similar carved out, one can tell the slight difference from their faces since the most important (famous) ones are depicted on a very large scale and have their names carved above their heads.
The other people who were part of it appear on the monument by having their names carved below the images of the main leaders. The text on the north side of the monument indicates the bravery of the leaders and reminds us they never surrendered even though they were losing the battle. Moreover, one is entirely capable of understanding the theme and depictions of the engravings of the monument without the text itself.
However, since it also indicated the date and the reason it was built, perhaps, one would not be able to know, besides from memory these two details, but the overall matter is self-explanatory also because it is located in the same plaza as the Alamo and can be overseen by different directions of downtown San Antonio. Additionally, regarding the behavior and expectations of the visitors when approaching this monument, it could be appreciated from afar in terms of its shape and design, and by being in the same location than the Alamo, one can infer that it is related to the same theme.
However, in order to understand the details and be able to comprehend who exactly was part of it as well as the reason why it was erected, one has to walk up close to the base of the monument, and most importantly, to its four facades since they all portray something different vital to the overall understanding of the statue. It is well designed respecting to the way one can access to it since it has three paths that draw you in from three different streets and angles.
One of the approaches, being the main one from the ruins of the Alamo, facing south, was designed to create a special pathway covered by trees delineating a sort of entrance. The other two directions, facing north east and north west are simple stone walkways carved from the landscape that allows you to see it from two corners having the visual of the woman representing the state of Texas and text, as well as part of the men carved in the west and east facades.
In conclusion, the Alamo Cenotaph is similar to the Trajan’s column in terms of its importance in their own cities, meaning as a comparison, one cannot truly see both monuments as equal in any sense since they both represent completely different events and characters. However, in San Antonio, TX, the Alamo is by far the most important monument not only in the city but also in the state, and therefore, the statue erected next to it is the most important statue in the city.
Compared to the Trajan’s Column that is one of the most important monuments of Rome, but not quite the most important. However, it is not a fair comparison since San Antonio is a very small city, and Rome has an enormous history of worldwide important events vital to the development of future civilizations and societies. Regarding their physical appearance, Trajan’s column is almost exactly double in height than the Alamo Cenotaph and it represents a single leader and several events respecting him, instead of a single battle where numerous people play almost equal roles on.
The Alamo Cenotaph has not borrowed its shape or meaning from any ancient monument or story, it instead is the main statue of a single event occurred hundreds of years after Trajan, and its column. Based on personal experience having been able to appreciate both monuments in person and therefore take pictures of them provided above and below, I could add to the general understanding that they are both magnificent in different manners. The Alamo Cenotaph is a beautiful well-preserved statue visited by millions of tourists and city’s residents.
However, it is of extreme difficulty to compare it with Trajan’s column because even though it has lost its original pigment and intent, it is a freestanding monument in the middle of an amazing piazza with views to the Forum, church Nome di Maria, Altare Della Patria, amongst other spectacular, breathtaking, significant monuments, sites in the city. To be more specific the cities themselves are not quite comparable in size, relevance, history, etc. ; therefore, the monuments although both imperatives in their own cities, they are challenging to contrast with each other, except for its appearances or designs.