Travel to Extremadura and Lisbon
Day 7 Badajoz - Merida (145 Km.)
(in 44 Km.) Alburquerque: Highlights the impressive view of the castle of Luna, which crowns the highest point of the town. The castle and its walls, remains of a rich history of armed conflicts was enlarged successively with the different residents and form a veritable fortress almost impregnable. Inside is Santa Maria del Castillo, a late Romanesque temple of basilica floor plan, with three naves, separated by half point arches, cruciform capitals and barrel vaults. After visiting the castle we walked around the area where there are numerous intramural houses of interest with coats of arms, stone doors, windows and artistic elements. It also highlights the rich display of religious architecture as the churches of San Mateo, Santa Maria del Mercado and the convent of San Francisco.
(in 101 Km.) Merida: The Roman amphitheater was inaugurated in the year 25 B.C. and is located next to the theater, taking advantage of the hill of Cerro de San Albínn. There is a moat whith cruciform shape in the center of the sand. In 1947, near the Amphitheatre, were found the ruins of a significant Roman villa, situated outside the walls which by their proximity to the monument was called House of the Amphitheatre. It is a faithful reproduction of the parts and units of the classical Roman house. From all the set highlights the proliferation of paintings and mosaics, but many are poorly preserved.
The Roman theater of Merida is one of the grandest and most magnificent of Hispania. Construction began under Augustus, about 16 B. C., its capacity of 5,000 spectators makes it one of the largest in Europe. Paradigm of public entertainment building, faithfully represents Vitruvian architectural guidelines. In 1980 was discovered the porches of the forum. This porticoed building consisted of an enclosure wall with niches for statuary decoration, a linteled body on marble columns, topped by an attic with sculptural plates of caryatids and Clipeus. Clearly inspired by the pattern of Augustus Forum of Rome, several possibilities are being considered in its dating.
The Temple of Diana has a rectangular plan of 31.80 meters long and 21.80 wide. The colonnade rests on a podium of 3.23 meters height. It was built entirely of granite from quarries near the city. From the sixteenth century the temple was occupied by the noble mansion of the lord of Villamesía, which has contributed to their preservation. Its name comes from its resemblance to the Temple of Diana at Ephesus, because it is thought that the purpose of this temple of Merida is directed more to the imperial cult. Also stresses the chapel of Santa Eulalia, the seventeenth century, embedded in rocks belonging to the Roman temple dedicated to Mars and under which were found ruins belonging to a Paleochristian church.
The Roman bridge over the Guadiana was a point of confluence of the Roman roads of South West peninsular, its 792 meters making it one of the longest and most important of the Empire. The core construction of the bridge is concrete and granite cladding. Next to it is the Alcazaba. The name of the arch of Trajan is arbitrary, since the commemorative inscription was lost centuries ago. Built in granite and marble wrapped in origin, measures 13.97 meters high, 5.70 meters wide and 8.67 meters corresponding to the span. It is believed that it had a triumphant character, although it could also serve as a prelude to the Provincial forum.
The circus maximus, in his kind, is one of the largest in the Roman world. Was located at a strategic point at the confluence of roads linking with Corduba Emeritus and Toletum respectively. The pass of the centuries has taken its toll on the conservation of this great scenario, which began its construction in times of Tiberius. Has two long sides which run parallel to finish at one end in a semicircular shape and the other on an elliptical shape. The Aqueduct of the Miracles is the archery section of the water line that runs from the dam of Proserpina to the city stands out for its powerful structure and length of the preserved. The pillars have brick floor every five rows respectively. The piles have lateral abutments and are linked by brick arches, being these a piece of granite in the aqueduct section that cross the river Albarregas.
The House of the Mithraeum was found by chance in the early sixties. The entire mansion was built in masonry with reinforced ashlars at the corners. From the house stand out the peristyle with interior garden and in a room inside the western sector the famous Cosmogonic mosaic, allegorical representation of the elements of nature (rivers, winds, etc.. ) presided by the figure of Aion. The Roman dam of Proserpina is located 5 km from the city in an area that collects water from nearby streams and rainwater. Presents a constructive scheme with facing of granite ashlar in slope, reinforced by a layer ground. In the dyke are located two towers of footage water with floodgates.