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City Gate, Empuries

City Gate, Empuries


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What is the significance of a city gate in the Bible?

Besides being part of a city’s protection against invaders, city gates were places of central activity in biblical times. It was at the city gates that important business transactions were made, court was convened, and public announcements were heralded. Accordingly, it is natural that the Bible frequently speaks of “sitting in the gate” or of the activities that took place at the gate. In Proverbs 1, wisdom is personified: “At the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech” (verse 21). To spread her words to the maximum number of people, Wisdom took to the gates.

The first mention of a city gate is found in Genesis 19:1. It was at the gate of Sodom that Abraham’s nephew, Lot, greeted the angelic visitors to his city. Lot was there with other leading men of the city, either discussing the day’s issues or engaging in important civic business.

In the Law of Moses, parents of a rebellious son were told to bring him to the city gate, where the elders would examine the evidence and pass judgment (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). This affirms that the city gate was central to community action.

Another important example is found in the book of Ruth. In Ruth 4:1-11, Boaz officially claimed the position of kinsman-redeemer by meeting with the city elders at the gate of Bethlehem. There, the legal matters related to his marriage to Ruth were settled.

As Israel combatted the Philistines, the priest Eli waited at the city gate for news regarding the ark and to hear how his sons fared in the battle (1 Samuel 4:18).

When King David ruled Israel, he stood before his troops to give instructions from the city gate (2 Samuel 18:1-5). After his son Absalom died, David mourned but eventually returned to the city gate along with his people (2 Samuel 19:1-8). The king’s appearance at the gate signaled that the mourning was over, and the king was once again attending to the business of governing.

The city gate was important in other ancient cultures, as well. Esther 2:5-8 records that some of the king’s servants plotted at the king’s gate to murder him. Mordecai, a leading Jew in Persia, heard the plot and reported it to Esther, who gave the news to the king (Esther 2:19-23). The Persian court officials were identified as being “at the king’s gate” (3:3).

To control the gates of one’s enemies was to conquer their city. Part of Abraham’s blessing from the Lord was the promise that “your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies” (Genesis 22:17).

When Jesus promised to build His Church, He said, “The gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18). An understanding of the biblical implications of “gates” helps us interpret Jesus’ words. Since a gate was a place where rulers met and counsel was given, Jesus was saying that all the evil plans of Satan himself would never defeat the Church.


Explore the Ancient Ruins of Empúries

What remains of one of Spain's earliest cities is enough to paint the picture of a thriving market town with its own places of worship, salt factories and irrigation, art, palaces for the wealthy and what would have been stone shanties for the poor. Greek traders were sailing around this area known today as Empúries as early as the seventh century BC before they decided to establish a settlement a century later and take full advantage of their trading links with native inhabitants of the peninsula.

The Greeks called their city Emporium, meaning "market," and it thrived for some 300 years until the Second Punic War. When Roman general Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio arrived at Emporium by boat with his troops seeking to cut off land access to his foes the Carthaginians, he ushered in a long period of Romanization on the Iberian Peninsula. By 195 BC, the Romans were building their own city adjacent to the Greeks' Emporium. They renamed the site Emporiae, and for roughly 100 years it was occupied until the more accessible ports at Tarragona and Barcelona led the Romans to abandon it. The remaining Roman inhabitants moved a short way north and built their village of Sant Martí d'Empíries. Fishermen from that village would go on to found L'Escala, now the largest town in the area, during the 16th century.

With a little imagination, Emporium and Emporiae come to life before your eyes against the backdrop of the sparkling blue Mediterranean. Walkways make visiting the ruins a breeze, and well-placed placards detail in English and Spanish exactly what each space was used for. Sites include floor mosaics, public baths, defensive walls, temples and an amphitheater. Don't miss the Archaelogy Museum of Catalonia at Empúries, which showcases objects uncovered during the excavations and offers a glimpse into Greek and Roman life.


Asklepion in the Greek town (IInd century BC) with a cast of a statue in the local museum which is known as the "Asclepius of Empuries", but perhaps it does not portray the Greek god

Asclepius, Greek god of Medicine to whom a famous shrine was dedicated at Epidaurus was highly regarded by the Romans too who built a temple to him on Isola Tiberina. The temple at Emporiae might have had facilities for medical treatment similar to those at the Asklepion of Pergamum.
The concourse of invalids to this temple was almost without number or cessation. They passed the night there to invoke the Deity, who communicated remedies, either in dreams or by the mouths of his priests, who distributed drugs and performed chirurgical operations.
James Dallaway - Constantinople Ancient and Modern with Excursions to the Shores of the Islands of the Archipelago and to the Troas - 1797.


A symbol of good luck next to the city gate of Empuries (Emporiæ), Roman Hispania.

Notice the discoloration from all the people who touch it.

These generally aren't good luck signs, they tend to be markers that point the way to the brothels. You can see them all over Pompeii, particularly on the streets themselves.

Sure, that could have been one of the implications but none are as prominent in Pompeii, not that I can recall. In this case it doesn’t make sense to put one on the city gate as a signpost to brothel, but it does make sense as luck bringer to the community. This is also what all the innumerable phallic amulets, small sculptures, oil lamps etc. represent.

That's actually not the case, and almost all scholars now believe the concept of those phallic symbols being used as erotic advertisements is false. It has and still is claimed to be such by local tour guides which is where the misconception comes from. Any quite internet search about phallic symbolism in Pompeii will now point out that it is an incorrect, but commonly believed association between the phallus and the brothel in Pompeii.

Certainly, in almost every other Roman settlement the phallus symbol has long been associated with good luck, male fertility, masculinity and as a warding symbol. The phallus features often in Roman art, including personal jewellery, and this too is associated as a luck charm. The brothel hypothesis was almost singularly associated with Pompeii, and as I mentioned, is not considered to be correct.

The current academic view is that they are luck symbols, and symbols to ward off the Evil Eye. Common outside places of business and homes.


Contents

There is evidence of human habitation in the area since prehistoric times and there are significant Iberian ruins on the hillsides nearby. In the 4th century BC it was a Greek colony of Marseille or Empúries, [ citation needed ] perhaps the one mentioned by Strabo [3] [4] as Hēmeroskopeion (Greek: Ημεροσκοπείον ) (meaning "watchtower"). It was an ally of Rome during the Punic Wars, and later was absorbed into the Roman Empire under the name of Dianium (after their goddess Diana). In the 1st century BC Quintus Sertorius established a Roman naval base here. [5]

In 636-696 AD, during the Visigothic Kingdom of Iberia, it was the seat of a bishop from Toledo. After the Muslim conquest of Iberia and the dissolution of the Caliphate of Córdoba, Dénia (known as Dāniyah or دانية in Arabic which means lowland) became the capital of a taifa kingdom that reigned over part of the Valencian coast and Ibiza. The Slavic Muslim slaves, saqālibah, led by Mujahid ibn Yusuf ibn Ali their leader, who could take profit from the progressive crumbling of the Caliphate's superstructure to gain control over the province of Dénia. The Saqaliba managed to free themselves and run the Taifa of Dénia which extended its reach as far as the islands of Majorca and its capital Madinah Mayurqah [es] . The Saqaliba Taifa lost its independence in 1076, when it was captured by Ahmad al-Muqtadir, lord of Zaragoza, under which it remained until the Almoravid invasion in 1091. The Muslim Arabs originally built the castle fortress, and the French, who occupied the city for four years during the Peninsular War, re-built it in the early 19th century.

The town was reconquered by the Christians in 1244. This caused a decline for the city, which remained nearly uninhabited after the exile of most of the Muslim population. It was later repopulated by the Valencian government. Created a fief in 1298, it was held by the de Sandoval family from 1431, although the city itself was returned to Aragonese crown in 1455. A marquisate from 1487, Dénia gained many privileges thanks to Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas, Duke of Lerma, a favourite of Philip III of Spain. It suffered a further period of decay after the decree of Expulsion of the Moriscos (1609), by which 25,000 people left the marquisate, leaving the local economy in a dismal state.

During the War of the Spanish Succession Dénia was besieged by 9,000 French troops in June 1707, who broke down several sections of the town walls using cannon, but their attacks in July were repulsed by the small garrison with great loss of life to the attackers resulting in the siege being raised after 27 days. Dénia, however, fell to the French forces that November. In 1713 the Treaty of Utrecht recognised Louis XIV's grandson Philip, Duke of Anjou, as King of Spain (as Philip V), so returning Dénia to Spanish rule.

It was reacquired by the Spanish crown in 1803, after which Denia gained an increasingly important role as a trading port. A community of English raisin traders lived in Denia from 1800 until the time of the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s.

Dénia is home to a large Moorish castle on a rocky crag overlooking the city. It was built in the 11th and 12th century and offers views around the sea, the city and the surrounding area. Located in the castle is the Palau del Governador and its corresponding museum.

Dénia also has the Museu Etnològic with further details on the history and culture of the city.

Dénia has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csa), with mild winters and hot summers. The mean temperature of the coldest month (January) is 12.3 °C (54.1 °F), while the mean of the hottest month (August) is 26.8 °C (80.2 °F). [6] The city enjoys over 2800 sunshine hours per year. [7]

Climate data for Dénia, Spain
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 17.2
(63.0)
18.1
(64.6)
19.7
(67.5)
21.6
(70.9)
24.6
(76.3)
27.9
(82.2)
30.9
(87.6)
31.6
(88.9)
28.9
(84.0)
25.0
(77.0)
20.7
(69.3)
17.8
(64.0)
23.7
(74.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.3
(54.1)
12.8
(55.0)
14.7
(58.5)
16.3
(61.3)
19.2
(66.6)
22.7
(72.9)
25.4
(77.7)
26.8
(80.2)
23.6
(74.5)
20.0
(68.0)
15.9
(60.6)
13.2
(55.8)
18.6
(65.4)
Average low °C (°F) 7.4
(45.3)
7.6
(45.7)
9.7
(49.5)
11.0
(51.8)
13.8
(56.8)
17.5
(63.5)
20.0
(68.0)
22.1
(71.8)
18.3
(64.9)
15.1
(59.2)
11.1
(52.0)
8.5
(47.3)
13.5
(56.3)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 37
(1.5)
56
(2.2)
48
(1.9)
31
(1.2)
35
(1.4)
24
(0.9)
7
(0.3)
18
(0.7)
66
(2.6)
87
(3.4)
84
(3.3)
98
(3.9)
591
(23.3)
Source: climate-data.org [6]

The ferry to Ibiza and the other Balearic Islands departs daily. Until 2005, the city also served as the northern terminus for a 1,000 mm ( 3 ft 3 + 3 ⁄ 8 in ) metre gauge railway line through the mountains from Alicante (popularly known as the Limón Express), run by FGV. This was not a specific tourist railway it provided transport throughout the year and was geared to commuter use. Efforts have been made to re-open the line, so far without success. [ citation needed ]

The bonfire festival is celebrated each March. Huge papier-mâché statues called fallas are set up throughout the town, and then set ablaze.

The Bous a la Mar (meaning "Bulls at the Sea") is held in July. The highlight of this week-long festival is watching bulls run down the main street Marqués de Campo, only to be chased into the Mediterranean sea by those daring enough to enter a makeshift bull ring with them.

Since 1974 it has been home to painter and sculptor Joan Castejón. The town honored him as an Adoptive Son of Dénia in 1999.

Dénia's local football team is called Club Deportivo Dénia, and plays in Spain's Third Division.


Contents

Early history Edit

The origins of Roses (Greek: Rhode ) are disputed. A popular theory holds it was founded in the 8th century BC by Greek colonists from Rhodes.

It seems more probable that it was founded in the 5th century BC by Greeks from Massalia (Marseilles), perhaps with an admixture of colonists from neighbouring Emporion (today's Empúries). Remains of the Greek settlement can still be seen.

Remains from the Roman period go back to the 2nd century BC and continue well into Christian times with a paleochristian church and necropolis. After the collapse of Roman power the town seems to have been abandoned, but a fortified settlement from the Visigothic period has been excavated on the nearby Puig Rom.

The mediaeval town grew around the monastery of Santa Maria de Roses (mentioned since 944). Its jurisdiction was shared by the abbots of Santa Maria de Roses and the counts of Empúries. In 1402 the county of Empúries was incorporated into the Crown of Aragon and Roses acquired the right to organize its own municipal government and economy.

Fortification Edit

In the first decades of the 16th century, Roses suffered repeated attacks by privateers from North Africa. To counter the threat, Charles V ordered the construction of extensive fortifications in 1543. In spite of the precautions, a naval squadron led by the Turkish admiral Barbarossa attacked and plundered the town some months later. After substantial revisions, the fortifications were completed in 1553, under Charles's son Philip II. The entire medieval town was enclosed by a bastioned pentagonal wall (illustration, below).

The defensive system was supplemented by the Castell de la Trinitat, some 2.5 km to the east. The town received a permanent military garrison, which profoundly changed its character. To minimise friction between the citizenry and the soldiers, barracks were constructed, but did not prevent the gradual movement of part of the population to outside the walls, where the modern town of Roses now is.

In the following centuries, the fortifications were severely tested. In 1645, during the Catalan Revolt, French troops besieged Roses and captured it. The Treaty of the Pyrenees (1659) restored the town to Spain.

In 1693, during the War of the Grand Alliance the French captured the town again. This time the French occupation lasted until the Peace of Ryswick in 1697. In 1712, during the War of the Spanish Succession, Austrian troops tried to take the city, but were driven off. In 1719, during the War of the Quadruple Alliance, the French again attacked, but failed to take Roses.

After a long period of relative calm, the Wars of the French Revolution ushered in a new round of hostilities. In 1793, the French revolutionary government declared war on Spain. At first, the Spanish armies won a foothold in France, but in 1794 the revolutionary armies invaded Catalonia. The Siege of Roses lasted from 28 November 1794 until 3 February 1795, when the garrison was safely evacuated by a Spanish naval squadron, except for 300 soldiers. The town was surrendered to France, but the war between France and Spain ended at the Peace of Basle signed in July 1795. The city quickly returned to Spanish control.

In 1808, Emperor Napoleon I of France forced King Charles IV of Spain and his son Ferdinand to abdicate and installed his brother, Joseph Bonaparte on the throne. When the Spanish people revolted against this high-handed behavior, French armies again invaded the country in the Peninsular War. The fourth and last Siege of Roses occurred in 1808. During the operation, the Scottish Royal Navy captain, Thomas Cochrane assisted the Spanish by putting his men into Castell de la Trinitat to help defend the town. The Scot stayed until the citadel and the town surrendered, before evacuating himself and his men. In 1814, when the defeated French withdrew from Spain, they blew up the town's fortifications along with the Castell de la Trinitat. At this time, the ancient town, called the Ciutadella, was completely ruined. Meanwhile, to the east the modern town slowly continued to grow.

Contemporary age Edit

In 1879, Roses suffered a devastating economic crisis through phylloxera, a pest of the grapevines, that destroyed the town's wine growing industry. Some of the population moved to Barcelona or emigrated to the United States.

In the 20th century, notably in the period after World War II, Roses profited from the growth of tourism.

Over the last decades, important excavations have been carried out inside the walls of the Ciutadella concerning not only the Greek and Roman remains, but part of the medieval city and its walls. In the 1990s, extensive restoration work was carried out on the walls of the Ciutadella, and in 2004 a museum was opened inside it. A controversial restoration of the Castell de Trinitat was formally completed in 2010.

Roses was the home of El Bulli, one of the world's best and most famous restaurants, from 1961 until its closure in July 2011. El Bulli had held three Michelin stars since 1997 and was rated the world's best restaurant for four years running since 2005 by Restaurant Magazine. [5]

The monastery of Santa Maria de Roses is mentioned in a document of the year 944. Around the monastery grew the mediaeval town of Roses, whose jurisdiction was shared by the abbots of Santa Maria de Roses and the counts of Empúries.

As Rotdon, it was a suffragan bishopric of the Metropolitan Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tarragona, but faded.

Titular see Edit

The diocese was nominally restored in 1969 as a Latin Catholic titular bishopric.

It has had the following near-consecutive incumbents, of the fitting episcopal (lowest) rank :

  • William Tibertus McCarty, Redemptorists (C.SS.R.) (1969.09.11 – 1971.01.13)
  • Francis Lenny (1974.05.03 – 1978.07.16)
  • Laurence Forristal (1979.12.03 – 1981.06.30)
  • John Anthony Rawsthorne (1981.11.09 – 1997.06.04)
  • Néstor Hugo Navarro (1998.04.15 – 2003.03.19)
  • Enrique Benavent Vidal (2004.11.08 – 2013.05.17)
  • Jesús Fernández González (2013.12.10 – 2020.06.08)
  • Aurelio García Macías (2021.05.27 – . )

According to Idescat, Roses' population in 2016 was 19.438 people on a land area of 45.9 km, the density is 423.4 people per square kilometer, much higher than the average of the Comarca of Alt Empordà (103.2) and the overall of Catalonia (234.3).

Roses increases its population in summer because of tourism and welcomes 120,000 visitors, the majority of them from Spain, France, Germany and Great Britain.


The municipal district area is crossed by the Palancia River from north west to south east. It is located on the natural way from Aragón to Valencian Community, between the Serra d'Espadà on the north and Serra Calderona on the south.

The urban area is located at 358 m height, placed over two hills emerging from the bank of the river.

The area of Segorbe was inhabited as early as the mid-Palaeolithic Age, as testified by archaeological remains. Segorbe was once identified as the ancient Segobriga, described by Pliny the Elder as the capital of Celtiberia. However, archaeological excavations have uncovered an extensive Roman city in La Mancha which has been identified as Segobriga. [2] During the Visigothic rule in Iberia, it became a diocese seat.

In the 8th century Segorbe was occupied by Moors from North Africa and its cathedral became a mosque. Segorbe was the residence of Zayd Abu Zayd, the last Almohad governor of Valencia. After his conversion to Christianism, Segorbe became a base for the conquest of Valencia in 1238. In 1435 it became part of the royal estates of the Kingdom of Aragon.

The Cathedral of Segorbe, consecrated in 1534 and extended in 1795 is connected by a bridge with the old episcopal palace. Its tower and its cloister are built on a trapezoidal ground-plan.

Segorbe's ancient castle was perhaps located over an Iberian acropolis. It originated as a Moorish alcazar, and lived its period of highest splendor in the later 15th century Martin of Aragon held his court here. After the administrative center was moved to the new ducal palace in the city, it declined, and, from the mid-18th century, its materials were used for the construction of the hospital and Casa de Misericordia.

  • Church of St. Martin, built in Baroque style in 1612
  • Baroque church of San Joaquín y Santa Ana (1695)
  • Medieval walls, dating to before the 13th century, including in their last stretch a 14th-century aqueduct. Its features include the Arch of Veronica, the Botxi Tower (with a height of 17.30 m) and the Cárcel Tower (14th century)
  • Town Hall, begun in the 16th century.
  • Cathedral Museum
  • Archaeology and Ethnology Museum

Also had former sights, now demolished, in which include:

The ducal line, in Valencia kingdom, whose members bear the family name of Aragó, was founded by the king Ferdinand I of Aragon who made his eldest son, Enric I, the first lord of Segorbe, duke of Villena, count of Empúries and count of Alburquerque. His son Enric II was created duke of Segorbe and was also count of Empúries, like his son Alfons I. The son of this last one, Francesc I, inherited from his father the duchy of Segorbe and county of Empúries, and from his mother (Joana of Cardona) the duchy of Cardona. He had no sons and the succession passed through his sister Joana, who was married to Diego Fernández de Córdoba, marquis of Comares. His son Lluis Folc de Cardona-Aragó was count of Prades, but he predeceased his mother in 1596 and the heir was the son (grandson of Joana) Enric III d'Aragó Folc de Cardona Córdoba. His son Lluis I succeeded him and deceased in 1670 and his son and successor Joaquin I also deceased in 1670. The heir was Pere Antoni, brother of Lluis I. After his death in 1690, the succession was claimed by Caterina, sister of Joaquin, married with Juan Francisco de la Cerda, duke of Medinaceli. The Medinaceli dukes received the duchy of Segorbe, the duchy of Cardona and the county of Empúries.

    1455-1522 1522-1563 1563-1575 1575-1608
  • Enric III 1608-1640
  • Lluis I 1640-1670
  • Joaquin 1670
  • Pere Antoni 1670-1690 1690

To dukes of Medinaceli 1690 (later passed to the de Medina y Fernández de Córdoba).

The present holder of the dukedom is don Ignacio de Medina y Fernández de Córdoba, Duke of Segorbe, who is married to Princess Maria da Gloria of Orléans-Braganza.


Tower of Babel

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Tower of Babel, in biblical literature, structure built in the land of Shinar (Babylonia) some time after the Deluge. The story of its construction, given in Genesis 11:1–9, appears to be an attempt to explain the existence of diverse human languages. According to Genesis, the Babylonians wanted to make a name for themselves by building a mighty city and a tower “with its top in the heavens.” God disrupted the work by so confusing the language of the workers that they could no longer understand one another. The city was never completed, and the people were dispersed over the face of the earth.

The myth may have been inspired by the Babylonian tower temple north of the Marduk temple, which in Babylonian was called Bab-ilu (“Gate of God”), Hebrew form Babel, or Bavel. The similarity in pronunciation of Babel and balal (“to confuse”) led to the play on words in Genesis 11:9: “Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth.”

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Adam Augustyn, Managing Editor, Reference Content.


What are the top Ancient Roman sites in Spain?

1. Baelo Claudia

The Roman city of Baelo Claudia in Andalusia is one of the best surviving examples of an ancient Roman town in Spain. Sitting directly on the coast, Baelo Claudia is a beautiful site to visit, with both stunning views and ancient ruins.

Today, Baelo Claudia is a place where visitors can observe the fundamental characteristics of a classical Roman city and there are many aspects to the site that can still be viewed. hese include the forum and the temples of the Capitolium as well as temples of eastern character such as that which is dedicated to Isis. Beyond these elements are a Basilica, administrative buildings or the municipal archive, market, theatre, baths, city walls & gates, streets, aqueducts and cisterns.

2. Segovia Aqueduct

The Roman Aqueduct at Segovia is one of the best preserved Roman ruins in Spain and is listed by UNESCO. With certain areas still retaining two levels, this impressive Roman site is an excellent example of the sheer scale of ancient Roman aqueducts and one of the best preserved in the world.

This stunning site now weaves through Segovia, looming over the urban sprawl at a maximum height of almost 30 metres. The best place to see Segovia Aqueduct is probably at the Plaza de Azoguejo. Segovia Aqueduct is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct.

3. Merida Roman Theatre

The Merida Roman Theatre is one of the most impressive of the ruins of this former colony of the Roman Empire. Together, these ruins, which include Guadiana Bridge and Merida Amphitheatre, form the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida.

Now partially reconstructed, the Merida Roman Theatre is extremely well preserved, particularly its lower levels. The semi-circular walls are intact and the back wall of the stage or “frons scenae” with its double-tiered columns has been beautifully restored.

4. Empuries

The site of Empuries in Catalonia contains the remains of an ancient Greco-Roman city and military camp and is one of the oldest of its kind found on the Iberian Peninsula.

Today, the archaeological site is nestled between the coastal village of Sant Marti d’Empuries and l’Escala, on the Costa Brava. Remains at the site include the ruins of the Greek market and port, an ancient necropolis as well as the Roman-era walls, mosaics, amphitheatre and early Christian basilica.

The site’s location on the Balearic Sea boasts magnificent views, making it a perfect location to explore history in scenic surroundings.

5. Lugo Roman Walls

The Lugo Roman Walls have been described by UNESCO as “the finest surviving example of late Roman military fortifications”, a title they truly deserve. Built in the third and fourth centuries AD, the walls are incredibly well preserved, rising up to a height of between eight and twelve metres and their over two kilometre circuit remaining entirely intact.

Several aspects of the walls are particularly impressive, including the fact that five of its ancient gates and forty six of its ancient towers are intact. While additions have been made over the centuries, what makes the Lugo Roman Walls remarkable is that they are predominantly Roman. Visitors can stroll along the Lugo Roman Walls, a great way to appreciate their exceptional nature and to see the town.

6. Cordoba Roman Bridge

Built by the Romans in the first century BC, the Roman Bridge of Cordoba, as described in around 1140 by Arab geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi, ‘surpasses all other bridges in beauty and solidity’. It has 16 arches supported by irregular semi-cylindrical buttresses and is 247 metres long by approximately nine metres wide.

In season five of Game of Thrones, the Roman Bridge of Cordoba doubled as The Long Bridge of Volantis spanning the mouth of the Rhoyne River.

7. Tarragona Aqueduct

The stunning Tarragona Aqueduct is the last remaining section of the ancient aqueduct which served the Roman city of Tarraco. Today the aqueduct is a beautiful site to visit, nestling as it does in the green valleys and picturesque hills of the Spanish countryside.

The remaining section rises a colossal 90 feet from the ground at its highest point, and has an upper tier containing 25 arches with 11 underneath. Tours are available to take visitors across the bridge, though they’re not for the faint-hearted!

8. Merida Roman Circus

The Merida Roman Circus was a vast sports arena able to accommodate up to 30,000 people. It is considered to be one of the largest of its kind in the world.

Today, the circus is in fairly good condition for a ruin of this type, still having its original track, stands and gateways. There is now a visitor centre where tourists can learn about its history. Like other historic sites in Merida, the Roman Circus is part of the Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

9. Tarragona Amphitheatre

Part of the ancient Roman city of Tarraco, Tarragona Amphitheatre was built in the second century AD and was originally able to host as many as 14,000 people.

While it has been damaged over the centuries, it is still possible to view elements of the original structure and seating areas and this Roman site remains an excellent example of the Roman ruins in Spain.

10. Carranque Archaeological Park

Carranque Archaeological Park contains a series of Ancient Roman ruins built in the fourth century AD. The site is made up of a well preserved villa – known as the Materno Villa – as well as a nymphaeum and a basilica. There is also a small ancient burial ground.

A good place to either start or end your trip is at the visitor centre, which contains some of the objects found at the Carranque Archaeological Park as well as models of how it would once have looked.


Watch the video: Catalonia (June 2022).


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