For the next two months, we will be looking at the theme of journeys and discoveries. This month I will be looking at the lesser known Roman ruin in central Portugal – Conimbriga.
Conimbriga was a settlement, from about the 1st Century BC the Romans had occupied it and developed it substantially. There were the Conii people living there previously, but it is now considered Roman due to their influence on it. It is located just south of the modern city of Coimbra.
It is quite dramatic walking onto the site for the first time. The whole area is surrounded by stone buildings. When you approach down the slope, you are finally greeted with an amazing view over the ruins which really is a sight to behold.
There are many mosaics that are in a beautiful condition as well as many foundations of roman rooms, which give an impression of what life was like.
Here we see the remains of the old Roman Baths, that were heated.
One of the highlights was the restored roman forum, (the city centre) which really showed the wonders of roman architecture. The bright white columns dazzled the eyes as the sunlight reflected off them (despite the cloud it was still quite intense).
The museum inside was also interesting albeit in a smaller area. It was fascinating to see how roman influence in the area impacted upon the daily lives of people. There are also some very interesting artefacts such as roman pottery, scale models of the settlement and even items such as fertility symbols!
I would highly recommend a visit to Conimbriga as it has both a very interesting ruins site and museum. Even if you are pushed for time a quick walk around the ruins is well worth it!