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Regio I - Insula V-VI - Portico est e ovest di Pio IX and loggia's (I,V,2 - I,VI,1)

The northern stretch of the Cardo Maximus is flanked by shops behind porticoes. The latter were supported by brick piers with pilasters, and had floors of opus spicatum. The northern Cardo is the only street in Ostia that is flanked by continuous porticoes on either side. The width of the street is 8.90 metres. It ended at the Tiber quay. Behind the western shops is the Via Tecta, behind the eastern shops another row of shops (I,V,1).

In the shops were small internal staircases of a few treads leading to a platform that supported a ladder, with which mezzanine floors were reached. External staircases led to further apartments on the upper floors. At the south end of the two rows are spacious areas that have been called loggia's. The ceiling was supported by brick piers. On an old plan floors of basalt blocks can be seen, suggesting that the loggia's were used as stables. At an unknown point in time two walls were placed on the south end of the Cardo, leaving a space of 3.40 metres. It may have been a blocking for wagons.

The structures were built during the reign of Hadrian (opus mixtum). There are some later brick reinforcements.

Today nothing can be seen of the Tiber quays, but Lanciani wrote the following about them. "The quays of the town were composed of a very solid wall, which protected the banks against the encroachments of the river. This wall supported at the same time the back walls of the store-houses, which were pierced with large openings, about nine feet above the level of the water." (Notes from Rome, 15, [1876]).

Plan of the structures. After SO I.

Photographs and drawings

The Cardo seen from the south. Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

Reconstruction drawing of the south end of the eastern portico, seen from the north-west.
Calza 1923, fig. 1.

The south end of the porticoes, seen from the south-east. Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

[jthb - 18-Mar-2006]