Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Monday, May 13, 2013

VDLP 2013: Mérida: Roman Theater and Amphitheater

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
The ruins were breathtaking!
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.
 There were many well-preserved archways.

Decoration under the rooftops of the Ampitheater.

A well-preserved patrician villa was nearby.

Villa Mitreo
 The gardens must have been lush.
Every opportunity to provide shade
and plenty of water features must have made for cool socializing
under the hot Spanish sun.
Beautiful Walkways

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
To get to the House of Mithras, I had to walk through funerary gardens. The walk between the gardens and the house, down the Cypress avenue was particularly nice. Between each tree, a fragrant rosebush has been planted and the perfume filling the air is heady and sweet.

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!
The well is inside a tiny building and down a dark staircase. Most people don't ever see it because it's dark inside and not advertised that you should walk down the stairs. It's a shame, really. Because the cool aqua water with the bright friendly goldfish made me feel like I had found a precious jewel in the desert. I believe the waters are brought in from the nearby river.

After seeing the Alcazar, I was ready for some lunch.
I decided I also wanted to see the albergue here in Merida.
See the next post for photos and information on the Merida albergue.


  1. Beautiful... what is the temperature like?


    1. This afternoon it was 84 and humid as clouds rolled in. The weather man says it will cool down a bit and maybe rain Friday but that is here and I will be further north.

  2. Well worth the visit by the looks. Thanks for the info.

  3. The ruins sound interesting as does the pool. Not sure I would walk down the dark stairs, being claustrophobic... just thinking about it makes me shiver. Your pretty brave, I think.


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