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Roman heritage in Spain 

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Roman and classical  Spain

1. Spain's best classical antiquities

Temple of Diana, Merida
Mérida, Extremadura  - the Temple of Diana.
Hispania was an important part of the Roman Empire. The Romans were present in Hispania for over six centuries, during which time they established the Iberian peninsula as a major part of their Empire. Roman rule lasted until the fifth century, when Spain was taken over by the Visigoths as the Roman empire in the west went into decline. Spain was, for the Romans, an important source of metals and of wool, and thus a major player in the economy of the Roman empire. the Romans established towns and settlements throughout Hispania, and  significant Roman remains can be found in many different regions.
Charioteer mosaic Merida
Detail of the exquisite charioteer mosaic, Museum of antiquity, Mérida
  • Merida (Extremadura) : (UNESCO world heritage site) -  Capital of the Roman province of Lusitania, Mérida boasts the finest ensemble of Roman remains in Spain. Roman amphitheatre, arena, temple to Diana, villa, long Roman bridge and well-preserved stadium, plus the aqueduct of Los Milagros on the outskirts of the city. Spanish national museum of classical antiquity
  • Segovia (Castilla y Leon) : (UNESCO world heritage site) - Roman aqueduct (photo top) - still in use today.
  • Tarragona (Catalunya): (UNESCO world heritage site) In town: Roman amphitheatre, Praetorian tower, Roman circus. Out of town:  Roman aqueduct, located on the northern outskirts of town, and also the Roman triumphal arch Arco de Berà / de Bara, located on the old Via Augusta 20 km northeast of Tarragona.
  • Italica (near Seville, Andalucia) : Large archaeological site, with impressive Roman amphitheatre and mosaics
  • Alcantara (Extremadura) : very fine Roman bridge over the river Tagus (photo below). This bridge has remained in virtually continuous use since Roman times, and today carries road traffic.
  • Toledo (Castilla la Mancha) : The Alcantara Roman bridge over the Tagus
    (Several tourism websites confuse these two bridges, or consider them to be the same bridge; they are about 300 km apart)
  • Lugo (Galicia) : Roman walls - reputedly the world's  finest surviving example of Roman city walls.
  • Ampurias
    Remains of the Roman city at at Ampurias
  • Ampurias / Empúries (Catalunya) : It was here on the Mediterranean coast, on what is now the Costa Brava, that the Romans first established a foothold in Hispania. Remains of a Roman city, near L'Escala
  • Baelo Claudia (Andalucia) : remains of a Roman city on the Atlantic coast, 22 km northwest of Tarifa. Basilica, Roman theatre, and other civil buildings including an interesting fish-salting works.
  • A Coruña (Galicia) : (UNESCO world heritage site) The Tower of Hercules - Roman lighthouse in service since the second century. Renovated in 1791, but still essentially a Roman building.
  • Las Médulas (Castile and León)  (UNESCO world heritage site) Near Ponferrada in the region of El Bierzo, once the most important gold mine in the Roman Empire. Impressive landscapes and exhibits.
  • Near Cuenca  (Castile la Mancha) - The Roman Villa at Noheda . Recently uncovered, a large villa complex with some of the finest Roman mosaics in the world. Visits by appointment : a museum is being built.
Roman bridge at Alcantara, Extremadura
The Roman bridge over the Tagus at Alcántara, Extremadura.




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Museum of Antiquities Merida
Mérida.
Above : National museum of Antiquity -
Below : Roman theatre
city wall




Top photo: Roman aqueduct, Segovia

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Amphitheatre Tarragona
Seaside amphitheatre at Tarragona, Catalunya

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Photo top: Segovia Roman aqueduct by Jebulon

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