Mérida: the Spanish hidden jewel…
I was really surprised with what I found in this small town…
No wonder Mérida’s Roman monuments were placed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1993… totally deserved.
The town was founded in 15 BC after imperator Augustus conquered the area.
The original roman name was Emerita Augusta and this town was the capital of Lusitania, a roman province located at the western roman empire.
This place was later conquered by the Visigoths and the Muslims. You can also see traces of these two empires in the city.
WHAT TO DO/ SEE:
Mérida preserves important ancient Roman monuments, more than any other city in Spain.
You can see for yourself all the monuments when visiting this beautiful town.
Let’s start with my favourite: the roman theater.
This wonder was built around 15 BC, and could seat around 6,000 spectators.
Well preserved… We were completely amazed with this place…
The Roman Amphitheater is located right next to Roman Theater, you get to see this two inside the same park.
As you may know, this place was dedicated to the Gladiatorial Games.
It’s a much larger well preserved structure, which could fit around 15,000 spectators.
Not much to see here but this ruin is also part of the circuit packet, but if you buy it alone, it costs €12 …
This is just an ancient arena where the roman were used to watch chariot races.
Next to the circus there is a building with the history explained and a little documentary about the history of this place.
The Alcazaba, reconstructed by the Arabs more than 1000 years ago, from an old roman fort designed to protect. Is located near the Roman Bridge, and provides us a great view from the top of the fort.
This is a building was built to store water inside the Alcazaba fort. As you can tell it still works today.
Right in the middle of the city you can check another roman wonder: the Diana temple…
Another breath taking Roman monument.
Portico of the Roman Forum
Also in the middle of this town, you can spot the remains of a roman forum.
The medallions on the forum are so well preserved as you can see in the following photo:
Such a huge structure that was responsible for bring water to the people of the ancient Emerita Augusta.
National Museums of Roman Art
This museum is located in front of the entrance to the theater and amphitheater. Is such a rich museum in terms od roman art and daily objects.
The entrance is only 3€ but this museum deserves much more than that.
Walk around the narrow streets
I am totally a walker tourist… love to explore on my foot wherever I go.
If you are like me you will love this city for the beauty of the houses and stone narrow streets.
Also there is an huge probability you stumble across roman remains everywhere. Totally recommend it.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Although Mérida is a small town, it has a train station. If you are in Madrid or even Lisbon, you can easily catch a train to Mérida.
If you prefer you get there quickly by car since Mérida is connected by superhighway passing Madrid, Lisbon or other Spanish cities such as Seville.
WHERE TO STAY:
Totally recommend the hotel we stayed in…
Named La Flor de al Andaluz is a small beautifully decorated hotel with Arabic decor inspiration.
Breakfast was not included initially but it was just €6 for two and you get your orange juice and good cofee.
Location is great and staff were super nice… Totally recommend.
This is where our king size bed was… Sweet dreams ❤️
Let me know if you enjoyed this post and if you want to see more travel guides here.
Have a wonderful week.