Conímbriga Roman Ruins

Why not taking a trip to the Conímbriga Roman Ruins, Coimbra, Portugal.

Conímbriga Roman Ruins
Conímbriga Roman Ruins
© Víctor Oliveira

Conímbriga is surrounded by quiet olive fields on the waving landscape extending towards the southeast of the city of Coimbra, in the central region of Portugal.

Even though it may seem so, Conímbriga was not the predecessor Roman city to Coimbra, but an important earlier urban centre with Celtic roots; although it is famous because of the Romans.

 

Nowadays this place hosts the best preserved Roman ruins in Portugal, being one of the best preserved sites in the Iberian Peninsula. This ancient city was divided into two by a quickly raised wall to repel enemies attacks, and it was abandoned when the Roman Empire fell apart.

The tour usually lasts an hour. The ticket price is around 4€ and includes the entrance to the Monographic Museum, where you will have the chance to learn more about the history of Conímbriga, as well as other aspects of the Roman life. It exhibits from mosaics to medallions.

These large Roman ruins are quite absorbing. Its domestic nature is reflected on elaborated mosaics, threads of water fountains, climate-controlled baths… etc. The startling wall divides the city and several buildings into two.

One of those buildings is the Casa dos Repuxos House, which hosts beautiful gardens with ponds and fountains, and gorgeous mosaics with hunting and four season motifs.

Here is also located the Casa de Cantaber House, considered one of the greatest ones of the Occidental Roman world. This house belonged to someone named Cantaber, whose wife and children were kidnapped by the Suebi in an attack in 456. Its a huge palace with baths, ponds, and a sophisticated underground air conditioning system.

The excavations keep going on the outside, where stand out the remains of a 3 kilometres aqueduct which raised to a baths complex at the top of a hill; and a forum surrounded by covered arcades.

How to arrive:

You can arrive by car and park right in front of the museum. It is also possible to take a bus that departures at 9h00 and 9h30 (on weekends at 9h30) from Coimbra. The route by bus lasts around 45 minutes and costs around 2.15€.

History:

The history of this old Roman city is very interesting. When the Romans settled down in the 1st century B.C., Conímbriga grew up until it became one of the main cities in the route between Olisipo (Lisbon) and Bracara Augusta (Braga). Its prosperity is obvious when you take a look at the rich mansions which preserve the floors elaborated with mosaics and fountains.

On the 3rd century the population of Coimbra, threatened by invader tribes, raised a great defensive wall crossing the town centre. Despite they could not prevent the Suebi to besiege the city in 468, their escape to Aeminius (Coimbra) saved Conímbriga of being destroyed.

More information:

Location:

Conímbriga, Coimbra.

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