"Merida - Roman Capital of Lusitania" Top 5 Page for this destination Mérida by alucas

Mérida Travel Guide: 55 reviews and 216 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.

The Villas

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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 !

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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 !

  • Last visit to Mérida: Sep 2004
  • Intro Updated Nov 22, 2005
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Reviews (13)

Comments (10)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Dec 11, 2007 at 4:17 AM

    What a fascinating little town with so much history. I liked the mosaic in the Mithraeum House in particular. The hotel looks a real find!

  • el_ruso's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2007 at 5:12 PM

    I did not know how extensive are the Roman ruins in Merida. I hope to return to Spain soon and see Merida.

  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo
    Dec 7, 2006 at 11:32 PM

    nice tips and photos. merida is one of my absolute favorite towns in spain.

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo
    Aug 8, 2006 at 11:03 AM

    Nothing like stumbling across a little gem like Mérida on your travels! Hotel sounds like excellent value.

  • bugalugs's Profile Photo
    Aug 5, 2006 at 2:19 PM

    A lovely place to visit from what you describe, the kind of place would love. thanks

  • sirenna's Profile Photo
    Dec 21, 2005 at 4:41 AM

    Great tips and photos - lots of useful info. Thanks for the tour.

  • hojasdehierba's Profile Photo
    Dec 11, 2005 at 5:43 AM

    I liked your Merida page and I appreciate the tip on Melia hotel: as I live here I don't know very much about hotels. Thanks for sharing.

  • Aug 13, 2005 at 2:07 PM

    Hi Andrew - once more a good decision on your part to stay in Merida and relate some very useful information and observations. The town ia packed with Roman History, thanks for sharing - Martin

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    May 26, 2005 at 12:02 PM

    Well, another town I missed. This one looks terrific, especially the ruins, which I always enjoy. Outstanding introduction. Great hotel tip..what a nice place to stay. Your work is perceptive, captivating, and ,yes, enticing...makes me want to return.

  • El_Sueco's Profile Photo
    May 11, 2005 at 3:44 PM

    Many good photos of this sunny town. Thanks for visiting.

alucas

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