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Merida, Spain - attractions, pictures

 

Merida is the third largest city of Extremadura (after Badajoz and Cáceres), but during the reign of Rome, Merida (Emerita Augusta) was the capital of one of the three (later six) Roman provinces on the Iberian Peninsula. Accordingly, the main attractions of Merida are Roman, and here they are preserved more than in any other city of the peninsula.
Before turning to the description of attractions, a few words about how to get there. Not all of them are free. The cost is not prohibitive, but not minimal. You can buy a general ticket, which includes visiting an amphitheater with a theater, a museum, a Roman villa and something else insignificant, or buying individual tickets. The first and second visit is mandatory, and individual tickets to the amphitheater and the museum are about the same as the general. So, it's more logical to buy the general ticket. Tickets are sold near the entrance to the amphitheater (well, in remote sights at the entrance).

The inscriptions on the tablets of the amphitheater of Merida testify that its construction was completed in 8 BC. It accommodated from 15 to 16 thousand spectators. Not the largest of the known, but not the smallest - in the first twenty of the largest Roman amphitheatres exactly included. By the way, a modern city stadium, used for approximately the same needs as the ancient, :) viewers can hold about the same number.

 

 Merida. Roman Amphitheater

 Roman Amphitheater
Anfiteatro Romano (I century BC)

 

 Merida.  Roman Amphitheater

 Roman Amphitheater
Anfiteatro Romano (I century BC)

 

 Merida.  Roman Amphitheater

 Roman Amphitheater
Anfiteatro Romano (I century BC)

 

 Merida. Roman Amphitheater

  Roman Amphitheater
Anfiteatro Romano (I century BC)

 

 Merida. Roman Amphitheater

 Roman Amphitheater
Anfiteatro Romano (I century BC)

 

 Merida. Roman Amphitheater

 Roman Amphitheater
Anfiteatro Romano (I century BC)

 

The Romans, in contrast to the Greeks, preferred the art of the rough entertainment, arranged in the amphitheater. But the theater in the city was also built (in 15-16 BC), on the occasion of the appointment of Emerita Augusta as the capital of the province of Lusitania. The rostrum of the Roman Theater of Merida was inhabited by about 6 thousand spectators, divided, depending on the status, into three groups, from top to bottom.

 

 Merida. Roman Theater

Roman Theater
Teatro romano (I century BC)

 

 Merida.Roman Theater

 Roman Theater
Teatro romano (I century BC)

 

 Merida. Roman Theater

Roman Theater
Teatro romano (I century BC)

 

 Merida. Roman Theater

Roman Theater
Teatro romano (I century BC)  

 

Next to the theater and amphitheater is the National Museum of Roman Art, which contains a huge number of artifacts, not only from Merida. In addition to exhibits in the building, the museum has an underground part where you can see the results of excavations, in particular the Roman road and the remains of Roman houses with preserved frescoes.

 

 Merida.  Roman road (to Córdoba)

Roman road (to Córdoba)
Calzada Romana a Cordoba (IV century)

 Merida. Room in the Roman house

Room in the Roman house
Casa Romana (II-III century)

 

 Merida. National Museum of Roman Art

 National Museum of Roman Art
Museo Nacional de Arte Romano

 

The house of the noble citizen of Mitreo was outside the city, so this is more a villa, especially since the size of the plot is impressive.

 

 Merida. Villa Mitreo

 Villa Mitreo
La casa del Mitreo (I-II century)

 

The Merida aqueduct, of course, served to deliver water to the city. It did not survive all. From what can be seen now, the most impressive is its highest part (27 m.). The name of Milagros (Miracles) aqueduct, of course, was received already at much later time - for Romans, such structures were in the order of things. :)

 

 Merida. The Milagros aqueduct

The Milagros aqueduct
Acueducto de Los Milagros (III-IV century)

 

 Merida. The Milagros aqueduct

The Milagros aqueduct
Acueducto de Los Milagros (III-IV century)

 

Trajan Arch was the portal of the temple, which was on the city forum. Then these gates consisted of three arches (there were two smaller ones at the sides) and were faced with marble.  This is no special relationship with Trajan. Most likely, the arch was called later, in honor of the emperor, who was originally from Iberia (Spain).

 

 Merida. Trajan Arch

 Trajan Arch
Arco de Trajano (I century) 

 

The temple of Diana was well preserved due to the fact that for a long time it was part of the palace of the Counts of Corbes, from which still remain some fragments.

 

 Merida. The temple of Diana

 The temple of Diana
Templo de Diana (I century)

 

 Merida. The temple of Diana

 The temple of Diana
Templo de Diana (I century)

 

The Roman bridge over the Guadiana in Mérida is one of the longest ancient bridges (800 m). However, then it consisted of two independent structures - from one coast to the island and from the island to the other shore. They connected these two sites already in the XVII century.

 

 Merida. Roman bridge

Roman bridge
Puente Romano (I century)

 

 Merida. Roman bridge

Roman bridge
Puente Romano (I century)

 

The church of St. Eulalia is considered one of the first Christian churches in Spain. Eulalia - a girl tortured during the persecutions of Diocletian, then it was still a relatively recent event. The church, apparently, was destroyed, since, in IX century, this place was occupied by Arab water wheels. Most of the present temple was built in the 13th century. The chapel was added to the church, the material for which was taken from a Roman temple dedicated to Mars - on some stones, the corresponding inscriptions and drawings were preserved.
In the basement of the basilica excavation was carried out, as a result of which one can see a heap of everything that was on this place before the construction of the present building - the remains of Roman houses, Arab buildings, cemeteries, etc.

 

 Merida. Church of St. Eulalie

Church of St. Eulalie
Basilica de Santa Eulalia (XVII century)

 

 Merida. Church of St. Eulalie

 Church of St. Eulalie
Basilica de Santa Eulalia (XVII century)

 

The Church of Our Lady of Merida remained from the monastery of the Franciscans, which lasted very briefly - from the beginning of the XVIII century to secularization in the early 19th century.

 

 Merida. Church of Our Lady of Carmen Franciscans Monastery

 Church of Our Lady of Carmen Franciscans Monastery
Iglesia del Carmen (XVIII century)

 

The hospital of St. John belonged to the Hospitaller Monastery, and then became one of the first museums of Merida - already in the XVIII century, the collection of Roman antiquities was exhibited here. 

 

 Merida.  The hospital of St. John

 The hospital of St. JohnJohn
Antiguo Hospital de San Juan de Dios (XVIII century)

 

The building of the Convent of the Сoncepcionistes is of no interest in itself, but the Order, about which few have heard is interesting. This is a female monastic order (the Order of Immaculate Conception), founded in Castile (1489). No special mission, like the Hospitallers, just "contemplative prayer and work." It is interesting that the order exists and now, and consists of more than 1500 nuns.

 

 Merida. Convent of the Сoncepcionistes

 Convent of the Сoncepcionistes
Convento de las Concepcionistas (XVI century)

 

Concathedral of St. Mary grew up around a chapel built after the conquest of the city by Christians. The results of excavations suggest that earlier on this place was the Visigoth Church of St. Mary of Jerusalem.
By the way, there is a former building of the monastery of St. Clara (nothing outside is not noticeable), which the Museum of Visigoth Art (free!).

 

 Merida. Concathedral of St. Mary

 Concathedral of St. Mary
Concatedral de Santa Maria la Mayor (XIII-XVI century)

 

From the Arabs in Merida remained the traditional Alcazaba. The walls were kept well, everything that was inside was practically not preserved. By the way, this building was built on the site of Roman buildings - some of them were simply built into new walls, part destroyed and used as a building material.

 

 Merida.  Alcazaba

 Alcazaba
Alcazaba Arabe (IX-XVII century)

 

Merida is certainly one of the cities of Extremadura, deserving special attention. On a fast, you can, of course, and one day to inspect everything, but it's better to stay a day or two.

 

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Tourist sights map of Merida
Tourist sights map of Merida

Map of Mérida
Map of Mérida

 

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