Mérida is right on the Via de la Plata, and should not be missed!
The city was founded in 25 BC, with the name of Emerita Augusta (meaning the veterans – discharged soldiers – of the army of Augustus, who founded the city) The name Mérida is an evolution of this) The city was founded to protect a pass and a bridge over the Guadiana river. It became the capital of Lusitania province, and one of the most important cities in the Roman empire. Mérida preserves more important ancient Roman monuments than any other city in Spain.For more information on the history of the city, do a quick google search. There is a lot of information on the internet.
I showed my Gold Pass and got in with a great discount. I really enjoyed the day here!
It was still the cool of the morning and there were not too many tourists to contend with.
|The Acuaducto de los Milagros|
|The Roman Theater|
You could walk all around, down stairs, and up into the stands of the buildings.
The forum was well-preserved, as was the Temple of Diana.
The Ampitheater could hold 15,000 people!
They had put these cool visual aids to show you
what the various types of Gladiators looked like, what they wore,
and what weapons they carried.
|One of many types of Gladiator.|
|Decoration under the rooftops of the Ampitheater.|
A well-preserved patrician villa was nearby.
Every opportunity to provide shade
and plenty of water features must have made for cool socializing
under the hot Spanish sun.
After seeing these ruins, I walked to the House of Mithras.
This place was HUGE and must have been quite a palace!
The mosaic floors were still in beautiful condition, considering their age.
|House of Mithras Bath|
Across the street was the fantastically painted bull ring!
From here I walked to the Alcazar.
If you must skip anything, skip this.
It was hot by now and there's not a lot to see at the Alcazar.
It's really just a big enclosed ruins and it was BLAZING hot.
The Alcazar's two saving graces were a cool Moorish underground well
and the incredible view of the Puente Romano from the wall.
|A very dark passageway you can only see with flash camera.|
|At the end of the stairway is a surprise!|
I decided I also wanted to see the albergue here in Merida.
See the next post for photos and information on the Merida albergue.