An introduction to the Roman Ruins in Spain
Historvius explores the Roman ruins in Spain: Spain is a nation steeped in history, with a wealth of historic sites and famous attractions. Amongst the peoples who left their mark on this nation were the Romans. In fact, the Roman Republic and Empire ruled Spain for hundreds of years, building huge cities, trading towns, theatres, aqueducts and triumphal monuments. Today, there’s a wealth of Roman ruins and Roman sites in Spain, bearing witness to the often astounding engineering achievements of this ancient empire.
Editor’s Top Five Roman Ruins in Spain
Lugo Roman Walls
Described by UNESCO as "the finest surviving example of late Roman military fortifications", the Lugo Roman Walls are a stunning reminder of the military might of Rome. A number of the original gates have survived, along with forty-six of the original towers. Although some alterations were made over the centuries, the majority of the walls retains the original Roman construction.
Photo by Emilio G (cc)
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.
Photo by cbarbi (cc)
Merida Roman Circus
Once able to accommodate up to 30,000 people, the Merida Roman Circus was an Ancient Roman chariot racing arena which remains extremely well preserved today. The original track has remained intact and a number of the original stands and gateways have also survived. Merida itself boasts several Roman sites and the Circus is one of the largest Roman ruins in Spain.
Photo by Lansbricae (cc)
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.
Carranque Archaeological Park
Just 45km from Madrid is Carranque Archaeological Park, which has a wealth of Roman ruins dating back to around the fourth century AD. The on-site visitors centre also contains objects found at the site and models highlighting how the original town would have appeared. A less well-known Roman site in Spain, Carranque is nevertheless one of the best Roman ruins to visit.
Photo by Isaacus (cc)
Other Roman Ruins in Spain
Circo Romano de Toledo
Circo Romano de Toledo is a Roman site which houses the ruins of a Roman circus in Toledo, Spain.
Puente de Alcantara
Puente de Alcantara is a bridge crossing the Tajo River in Spain. Originally built by the Romans, much of it has since been the subject of reconstruction.
Merida Roman Theatre
The Merida Roman Theatre is a well-preserved first century BC structure and a UNESCO site. This is one of the best known Roman sites in Spain.
The Los Milagros Aqueduct
The Los Milagros Aqueduct in Merida supplied water to the Ancient Roman city of Augusta Emerita.
Merida Amphitheatre is an Ancient Roman ruin and a UNESCO World Heritage site. One of a number of great amphitheatres found amongst the Roman ruins in Spain.
Guadiana Bridge in Merida was one of the largest bridges built by the Roman Empire and one of the most unusual of the Roman sites in Spain.
Santa Eulalia Basilica – Merida
Santa Eulalia Basilica was an Ancient Roman church, the remains of which are located in Merida.
The Alcazaba Fortress in Merida was a defensive structure built in the middle of the ninth century that also retains a number of Roman ruins.
Temple of Diana – Merida
The Temple of Diana is a very well-preserved UNESCO-listed Ancient Roman temple in Merida.
Trajan Arch of Merida
The Trajan Arch of Merida is a UNESCO listed Ancient Roman granite gateway. It is one of a number of Roman monuments that can be seen amongst the Roman sites of Spain.
Pollentia is an Ancient Roman site in Alcudia in Majorca housing the remains of an Ancient Roman city. It is one of the lesser-known Roman ruins in Spain.
Guadalmina Roman Baths
The Guadalmina Roman Baths are the ruins of a Roman baths complex in Marbella.
Rio Verde Roman Villa
The Rio Verde Roman Villa was a first to second century Roman home in Marbella.
Roman Necropolis of Barcelona
The Roman Necropolis of Barcelona contains 95 Ancient Roman tombs. It is one of the more hidden Roman sites in Spain but is well worth a visit.
Temple of Augustus – Barcelona
The Temple of Augustus is a first century Ancient Roman ruin hidden in Barcelona’s back streets.
Tarragona Roman Circus
Tarragona Roman Circus was built in the first century AD and is one of the best preserved Roman sites in Spain.
Spanish National Museum of Archaeology
The Spanish National Museum of Archaeology displays historical artefacts from throughout the country’s history as well as from around the world.
Tarragona Roman Forum
The Tarragona Roman Forum houses the ruins of what was the central square of the Ancient Roman city of Tarraco. An interesting insight into day-to-day Roman life, this site is one of the more unique Roman ruins in Spain.
La Olmeda Roman Villa
La Olmeda Roman Villa is a well-preserved fourth century AD Roman home in Palencia in Spain. This is one of the less well-known Roman ruins in Spain.
Sagunto Roman Theatre
The Sagunto Roman Theatre dates back to the first century, when it was built into the side of a mountain. Controversially renovated, it is one of the few Roman sites in Spain that is still in use today.
Sagunto Castle was a large Moorish citadel, the impressive remains of which overlook the modern town. The castle also contains the Roman remains of an ancient forum. One of the hidden Roman sites amongst the Roman ruins in Spain.
Lugo Roman Baths
The Lugo Roman Baths were built in approximately 15BC, around the time when the city was founded. They are a well-preserved example of the Roman remains of Spain.