Merida (Spain) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main attractions of Merida with a description, guides and cards.
Merida City (Spain)
Merida is an ancient city in southwestern Spain. Located on the river Guadiana and is the capital of the autonomous community of Extremadura. Merida is Spanish Rome. Here are the magnificent ruins antique structures that are the largest in the Iberian Peninsula and are included in the World Heritage List UNESCO. The Roman city of Emerita-Augusta was founded in the 25th century before ad. At that time it was the largest settlement in the Pyrenees and the capital of the province of Lusitania. Antique era left Merida unique heritage in the form of ancient ruins that can be found in eastern part of the historic center.
- Geography and climate
- Best time to visit
- Practical information
- How to get there
- Food and drink
- Maps and guides
- Comments and reviews
Geography and climate
Merida is located on the Ruta de la Plata on the Guadiana River, in the center of the Extremadura region, north of the province of Badajoz. Climate – Mediterranean. Winters are mild, with lows that rarely fall below 0 ° C, and summer is hot, with maxima that are sometimes exceed 40 ° C. With regard to precipitation, it is usually annual the quantity fluctuates from 450 to 500 mm. The wettest months are November and december.
Best time to visit
Best time to visit: April-June and September October.
- The population is 55.7 thousand people.
- The area is 865.6 square kilometers.
- The language is Spanish.
- Currency – Euro.
- Visa – Schengen.
- Time – Central European UTC +1, in summer +2.
- Tourist information centers are located: Plaza Margarita Xirgu and C / Santa Eulalia, 62.
Merida was founded by the Romans in 25 BC in the period reign of the emperor Octavian Augustus. In antiquity the city It was called Emerita-Augusta and was the capital of the Roman province. Lusitania It was the largest and most prosperous city of Iberia, in which was based a large military garrison. Romans built there are numerous buildings: a bridge over the Guadiana, an amphitheater, theater, aqueduct. 800-meter bridge perfectly preserved to this day and was one of the largest facilities of its kind in all of roman empire.
After the collapse of the great empire, Merida belonged to the Visigoths. Here a bishopric was formed, and the city itself became one of main religious centers in the Iberian Peninsula. In year 713 Merida captured the Arabs, who built on the ruins of the ancient antique fortress Moorish Alcazaba.
Roman theater in Merida
The city was conquered from the Moors in 1230 by the king of Leon Alfonso Ix. He placed it at the disposal of the Order of St.. Santiago. In the 19th century rich historical and cultural heritage was damaged during military conflicts and as a result of industrialization.
How to get there
Merida has access to the Route de la Plata Motorway (Gijon – Seville) and A5 (Madrid – Badajoz – Lisbon). In addition, Merida is a key railway center for trains to madrid, Lisbon, Seville, Badajoz, Cáceres. Also with these cities there is regular bus service. The nearest airports are located in 50 km (Badajoz airport) and 200 km (Seville airport).
Shopping and shopping
The main shopping area is located in the Santa Eulalia area, Felix Valverde Lillo, Rambla, Moreno de Vargas. To buy typical products, souvenirs and archaeological reproductions, better just go to José Ramon-Melida and around National Museum of Roman Art. In the western part of Merida there are several shopping centers and large supermarkets.
Food and drink
Merida’s gastronomy is distinguished by its natural flavor, high quality ingredients and simplicity. There is a gastronomic the tradition of cold dishes: cold southern-style soups (gazpacho, ayoblanco), salads. Another typical feature of the kitchen is variety of spanish tapas. All dishes go well with a glass local wine Ribera del Guadiana.
The main attractions of Merida are the ancient ruins and buildings of the Roman Empire.
Sights of antiquity
The Roman theater is one of the symbols of Merida, a magnificent ancient monument built by Agrippa in 16 BC and rebuilt to 1 century BC after the fire during the reign of Hadrian. He is very good preserved and has been beautifully restored. The theater has the shape of an ellipse. He could accommodate 6,000 spectators. Rear wall of scenic buildings has magnificent sculptural decorations. In ancient times behind them there was a garden that served the lobby. The theater is still in use. for holding various cultural events and events.
Nearby is a museum of Roman art. He contains a magnificent collection of Roman antiquities found in Merida: ancient coins, sculptures, glassware, ceramics and wall painting gravestones. The museum was built on top of archaeological monuments, and excavations are carried out in the basement.
The amphitheater is located next to the ancient theater. It was built in 15 BC and accommodated about 15,000 spectators. Held here Gladiator fights. After the ban of the fighting, the amphitheater was dismantled. It is interesting that even sea battles were carried out in his cup. Scene could be flooded with water allowing small vessels to sail.
Next to the Roman amphitheater are the ruins of a Roman villa. On this area has a few rooms decorated with frescoes, corridors with mosaic and beautiful open space, remnants thermal baths.
Temple of diana
The temple of Diana is a magnificent ancient religious building, which is one of the most beautiful Roman buildings of Merida. The temple building is a peripter – a rectangular structure, framed by columns. Granite columns have Corinthian capitals, typical of roman architecture. Archaeologists believe that next to the building was a garden with a pond. In the 16th century, the temple was transformed into a palace. for the duke of Corbos, however the ancient structure is still visible.
Roman Hippodrome or Circo Romano
The Roman Hippodrome is a unique (for Spain) ancient building, located to the northwest of the amphitheater. Used as a place for chariot races, and then for war games. The circus has rectangular shape and divided in the middle by a longitudinal platform. The arena where the races took place and the seats are still visible. The ancient hippodrome is one of the best preserved structures of this type in Europe.
Arch of Trajan
The arch of Trajan is an impressive Roman arch of triumph. Located in the city center just north of the Plaza of Spain. Arch Trajana has a height of 15 meters and was the northern gate to Emerita-Augusta.
Los Aqueduct Milagros
Los Milagros is an ancient Roman aqueduct that supplied water to Antique city from the reservoir, located 10 km away. Ancient roman dam used to create a reservoir on River Abarregas, still visible. Aqueduct is a massive engineering a structure built of granite and brick with three floors of arches, water tanks and distribution towers. Ruin represent more than a dozen arches of the original structure, which are perfectly preserved.
Roman bridge is one of the most iconic sights. Merida. An ancient bridge was built across the Guadiana River during reign of emperor Augustus and bound Emeritus-Augustus and Tarragona. Its length is 792 meters. He is one of The largest roman bridges in Spain. Built of fortified granite and consists of 60 arches.
Alcazaba – ancient Moorish citadel, built in 855 year by expanding the ancient Roman fortress. Located south of Square of Spain on the banks of the River Guadiana. After Reconquista was converted into a monastery of sv. Santiago.
Santa Maria de la Asuncion
Santa Maria de la Asuncion – a three-nave church built between the 13th and 15th centuries at the site of an earlier Visigothic temple. The religious building was founded by the Grand Master of the Order. Santiago. The church has preserved elements of architecture of the 13th century, although most of them belong to the 17-18 centuries.
Santa Eulalia is a 13th century basilica built in the period Reconquista. Located on the site of an ancient Visigoth church 4 century, which, in turn, stood on the site of even more ancient roman temple. The original church was destroyed by the Almohad Islamic rulers who conquered Andalusia and other areas Iberian Peninsula. The modern building has a Romanesque architecture, three naves and a semicircular apse. Under the basilica are remnants of ancient Roman houses and an early Christian necropolis.
Maps and guides
City map Gastronomic map: cafes and restaurants