"Merida - Roman Capital of Lusitania" Top 5 Page for this destination Mérida by alucas
Mérida Travel Guide: 55 reviews and 213 photos
This was our chance discovery - a convenient spot on the map. We found an attractive, lively, town with an important Roman past which is now a World Heritage Site, no less.
Founded in 23BC as Augustus Emerita, the city was the capital of the Roman province of Lusitania - which ran to the Atlantic and covered most of what is now southern and middle Portugal. The Roman ruins have been restored and you can visit the Temple of Diana, an Amphitheatre and, more unusually, a Theatre where events are staged to this day.
Two very handsome villas have been excavated, both with excellent mosaics. The Amphitheatre House includes scenes such as treading the grapes, and the fish mosaic room - fresh fish being a luxury in an inland city. The Mithraeum House has an unusual Cosmological Mosaic. It was an elegant life style for the rich - with the beautiful floors, decorated walls and elegant colonnaded courtyards. The funerary structures are worth a look - especially Columbaria - where even the name of the family is known and there is a fresco of a couple which is about 2000 years old - one form of immortality !
Why did we stay in Merida ? We were looking for somewhere to stay to the west of Toledo that split the journey back to Jerez. Badajoz was the first choice originally, but boy am I glad we chose Merida. The Roman ruins are fascinating, but the hotel .....
5-star comfort at 79 euros a night for two ( room only ) ..... we'll be back one day.
We only had two nights and one day in Merida. Another day would have been nice, as there was far too much to see in one day. We didn't see the chariot circus, the Roman Aqueduct or the National Museum of Roman Art, nor did we explore the town properly. Now we've got an excuse to stop there again next time we are driving that way !
Columbaria is the term used to describe the open-air tombs that can be found just to the north of Mithraeum House.... more travel advice
Between the columns of the stage facade there are a number of statues - some are believed to be portraits of the... more travel advice
Written May 11, 2005
The Roman Theatre
Written May 11, 2005
Mosaics at Casa del Anfiteatro
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