Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Merida, ancient Roman town

Today we are in Merida, a town that was founded by the Romans over 2,000 years ago.
Their buildings were made to last and there are dozens of them, scattered all around. They are by far the finest in town and they crop up in the most surprising places.
The Temple of Diana, picture 1, is completely surrounded by shops and bars and has been used by many different people over the centuries. It now had an elegant townhouse from the 1,500's nestled amongst it's columns.
The beautiful aquaduct in picture 2 is approached through a dodgy subway under a railway and is amongst industrial buildings. It also has a couple of giant white stork nests on the top of its ruined arches.
The theatre and coliseum,  pics 3 and 4 were right next to each other in the centre of town and have been reconstructed and repaired over the last 100 years.
There was a really interesting display that explained all about the different types of gladiators and their weapons, as well as the gate that the victors used to leave the building.
We also saw remains of Roman baths, a swimming pool and an enormous circus where chariot races used to take place - just like in Ben Hur.

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