Roman buildings in Barcelona
There are several Roman buildings in Barcelona that are worth visiting, some of them excellent.
At the Barcelona City History Museum you can take a lift down one floor and 2000 years back in time –or almost! the lift is in the 16th Century Casa Clariana-Padellàs by the Plaça del Rei– to visit the carefully excavated remains of Barcino under the surrounding gothic buildings. The Roman remains are mostly simple workshops and factories but it’s an evocative experience and you can also enjoy gothic religious and administrative buildings as part of the visit. The extraordinary Saló del Tinell with its six semi-circular arches alone is worth the visit.
The most recently discovered of the Roman buildings in Barcelona is the first Roman dwelling (domus) in Barcelona to be recovered and open to the public is in the Carrer de la Fruita 2, by Plaça Sant Jaume, just off the old Cardus Maximus.
The house was built in the IV Century and you can see well preserved mosaics, the garden area with its pool.
There are medieval silos and other remains on the same site.
The well preserved tower and angle of the Roman walls, at the corner of Carrer de Lledó and Plaça Traginers.
There's a long stretch of wall on Carrer Sots-Tinent Navarro.
The Roman walls can still be seen in several places, though they have been built up, built in and built over as the centuries have past. The coffin-shaped outline of the III century walls through the Gothic Quarter streets is a delightful little walk, offering hundreds of views and sights –a photographers dream…
The Temple of Augustus is hidden away behind my favourite sandwich bar –Can Conesa on the corner of Plaça Sant Jaume and Carrer del Paradís. Just where the street bends for the second time is the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya, and at the end of the courtyard you can see the remaining Corinthian columns of the peripteral hexastyle temple. The original temple measured some 35 x 17,5 metres.
There are the remains of a Roman tower and baths at the Civic Centre Pati Llimona at Carrer Regomir 3.
Four arches of the aqueduct bringing water from the Collserola ridge are visible at Carrer Duran i Bas.
As with many old Roman buildings in Barcelona, the aqueduct was used as part of later buildings and the arches can be seen built into the existing structures.
A Roman necropolis can be seen outside the walled Roman city, in today’s Plaça Villa de Madrid, close to the Ramblas. The Romans buried their dead by the roadside and so travellers approaching the city passed by the tombs of its previous dwellers. You can read several inscriptions asking the traveller pause and remember the dead, allowing them to live on in his memory. Perhaps you’d like to spend a moment in contemplating the lives of these people who were among the first to give Barcelona its shape and character.
Next: Roman Religion in Barcelona.
Temple of Augustus. The legend of Saint Eulalia martyr.
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