Roman towns in Spain: a journey to the past
Carranque Archaeological Park
Learn about life in Spain during the Roman Empire by visiting the Roman towns. There are numerous archaeological sites throughout the country. All you have to do is choose an area. Go back to the times of the gladiators and emperors, and learn something of the civilisation that gave Spain such a priceless cultural legacy.
In this journey, one of the things that will become evident about the past is that the houses in ancient Hispania had heating systems, running water and thermal baths, that their occupants used instruments such as nail clippers, and that hunting was of great importance in their daily lives, as illustrated by the themes of the mosaics and by the weapons and utensils discovered at excavations.
There are countless Roman sites throughout Spain and some of them, such as those at Tarraco and Mérida, even have UNESCO World Heritage status. Alongside these major archaeological sites are smaller but equally interesting sites, often based on old Roman towns in beautiful natural settings. Just a few examples are the Carranque Archaeological Park in Toledo; the Roman towns of La Olmeda and Quintanilla de la Cueza in Palencia; the ruins at Oliva de Plasencia in Extremadura; the Roman towns of Els Munts and Centelles in Tarragona; the Roman city of Baelo Claudia in Tarifa… and so the list goes on.
The archaeological sites often also include exhibitions, audiovisuals, reproductions, explanatory panels and scale models to provide visitors with a more complete insight into daily life in these settlements. One such site, for example, is the Museum of Roman Towns at Almenara-Puras, 55 kilometres from Valladolid. The only museum of its type in Spain, it is perfectly integrated with the surrounding landscape and, with exhibits of remains recovered from a stately house from the 4th century AD, enables visitors to learn about life in a farming town during the days of the Early Roman Empire.
Visiting the Roman towns in Spain will take you on a journey through rooms, palaces and burial grounds; you will admire temples and statues dedicated to the ancient divinities; beautiful mosaics and paintings of incalculable artistic merit; marble columns and old stone walls; the remains of ceramics, glass objects, coins and tools; dishes, containers and decorative elements; arches, bridges, vestibules and courtyards; water tanks; pantheons... a whole host of monuments just waiting to be discovered. All in all, an enjoyable and fun way to learn about one of the most fascinating periods in Spanish history.
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