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Romans

Romans

Driving past Algeciras on the N340, a passer-by would never suspect that nestled behind Cepsa´s vast petrochemical plant is one of Andalucia´s most significant ancient heritage sites. Yacimiento Arqueológico Romano Carteia (Carteia Roman Archeological Site) is a strange theatre of juxtaposition, with Roman structures of varying preservation, medieval additions, and a backdrop of smoke-spewing chimneys. These fascinating contradictions alone make the site worth a visit, but its rich history remains the focus.

The Alcázar is of Muslim origin and was the residence of King Taifa of Carmona. It was restored several times after the re-conquest and Pedro I of Castile restored it in the thirteenth century. The earthquake of 1504 affected the palace and since then the ruin has been progressive and is now a gracious if expensive Parador. Located on Calle Los Alcázares.

This site is located below the Plaza del Reloj in Calle Villa. Excavations have been left open and the visitor can see the foundations of the roman building. The upper room was probably mausoleum with a funeral chapel. Inside the crypt debris has been recovered which would have been decorative element of the original building.

The aqueduct was built by the Romans during their reign over parts of Andalucia. The aqueduct would have served, not only as a valuable supply of fresh water to the town's population, but also would have been vital for the salting industry believed to be practiced in the town.

The ruins of this 32 hectare city are located at 1.000m above sea level. This is an urban are that thrived in the first century AD when it had a population of 5.000. It was mentioned in Plini and, inscriptions to Geninn Oppidi, to the god Marse and to Victoria Augusta have been found. The city even minted its own money, which features bunches of grapes.

After one and a half kilometres west from Casares (MA-528) at the junction on the A-377 Manilva - Gaucin road a small track oposite can be seen. This was once the main route to Jimena de la Frontera and San Martin. Those who have no objection to a bumpy ride can still use it.

Located next to the beach in the Guadalmina urbanisation, the baths date back to the 3rd century and were first discovered in 1926. The solid mortar structure has survived the passing of history and weather well, particularly considering the location near the beach. The construction was built around an octagonal patio of 9.75 metres in diameter which in its time was encrypted.

El Teatro Romano is the oldest monument in Málaga City; it is situated in the cultural heart of Málaga city, at the foot of the famous Alcazaba fortress. It is one of the only Ancient ruins left in Málaga after the outwardly Republican city was bombed by Nationalist sympathizers - the Italian army during the Civil war, and one of the only remaining Roman ruins in Andalucía after centuries of warfare, and construction.

Roman ruins of Italica, near Seville, with remarkable mosaics and an impressive amphitheatre, are located 9 kilometres to the north of the city, just outside the village of Santiponce. Nearby you can also see a well preserved Roman theatre. Both are signposted from the the main road.

You can walk over the Roman bridge in either direction. It is close to the great Mosque and leads to Torre de Calahorra at south end. The Roman bridge which, according to the Arab geographer, Al-drisi 'surpasses all other bridges in beauty and solidity', reflects little of its Roman roots, owing to frequent reconstruction over many decades.

Sulphur is the ninth most abundant element of the universe and is one of nature´s great jokes on the human race. Known to the ancients as "Brimstone" it is one of the elements essential to life as a constituent of various biologically active compounds. Pure sulphur is odourless, but fun-loving nature frequently combines it with hydrogen to produce hydrogen sulphide, which has the odour of rotten eggs.

The ancient site at Rio Verde was once part of the great Roman city of Cilniana. It now houses the remains of a late 1st century AD Roman villa. Sadly all that is left is the floor and a small portion of the walls of the villa (the highest at 1.2 metres). However, fortunately for us it is a floor unlike any other - embellished with black and white mosaic tiles in patterns never before seen in a Roman Villa.

Baelo Claudia, near Tarifa, is one of Andalucia´s most significant and well-preserved Roman archeological sites. The extensive ruins are situated on the Costa de la Luz, some 15km north of Tarifa, by the small town of Bolonia and its beautiful beach. The site´s important history rests on the former city having been a strategic point for trade routes between Europe and North Africa.

Villa Romana de las Torres, Estepona is located immediately beside the Torre Guadalmansa watchtower. There were excavations in 1915-16 and 1929 which revealed an extensive Roman villa complex. The first excavation uncovered the remains of a large building and several pools, which led the leader of the dig, José Martinez Oppelt, to conclude that it had been a termas, or bath house.