Following in the footsteps of history
Gary and I had read that the ancient Roman settlement of Conímbriga, was one of the largest excavated in Portugal. However, I really didn’t imagine how large it was going to be.
Roman settlement of Conímbriga
We were heading onto Porto via a scenic drive after visiting the Roman ruins. So, I said to Gary, oh we won’t be there long perhaps 45 minutes an hour tops.
Well, 90 minutes later we were heading out and actually could have stayed longer.
A reference guide
Our recent new found love is Portugal, it is such a beautiful country. While planning our trip, I used the DK Eyewitness books. I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.
We used a previous version of this book to plan our north to south Portuguese road trip, now you can grab the revised copy.
At your own pace
The size of the area that the ruins covered was amazing, well I suppose it was a settlement after all.
What I found so impressive was, other than a few key protected areas you were allowed stroll in and around the ancient remains.
The ruins of Conímbriga
The Romans arrived in this area around 139 BC, although it was during the reign of Emperor Augustus, that the grander structures were built.
You can see from the palatial interior gardens within Repuxos House, that the Conímbriga settlement was quite significant in its day.
Interior water gardens
There were some incredible mosaics inlaid on the floor, considering what would have been available at the time, the patterns and colours were fantastic.
Mosaic around the water garden
We wander around further in the glorious spring sunshine, passing by an ancient underground network of tunnels and lanes. It’s hard to believe how old these structures are.
The underground network of Conímbriga
There is very little remaining of the Roman forum, but the scale of the area conjures up opulent grandeur. Some pillars have been reconstructed to portray its enormity.
The Forum, Conímbriga
Remains of thermal baths are dotted around the city, and with the thousands of Romans that would have lived here in its heyday, they would have been busy.
The Thermal Baths
Along with the huge forum and the thermal baths in Conímbriga, there is no doubt that this was once a thriving city. With an aqueduct built to feed the settlement and also an amphitheatre to keep the locals entertained.
When we visited Conímbriga in 2018, the entrance fee was €4.50, which I think was fantastic value when you appreciate the centuries of history, you’re rubbing shoulders with.
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