One of the greatest European discoveries of architectural significance built by the Romans is the Conimbriga ruins. They are some of the best preserved ruins around the Iberian peninsula and lie just over 8 miles from the city of Coimbra. The ruins are found on a road that in present day is one that leads from Coimbra to Tomar.
The Conimbriga ruins were actually first settled by
Celtics during the Iron Age in history and then later
occupied in the first century by the Romans. When it was
occupied by the Romans the city flourished into a prosperous
settlement but was eventually destroyed when the barbarian
invasions began in 468 A.D. The Conimbriga Portugal ruins
are definitely worth a visit if visitors are on a tour
of Portugal’s northern region. It’s possible
to drive from Porto for a visit
Classified as a National Monument, Conimbriga Portugal is defined by appealing fountains, a marvelous aqueduct, gardens, and ancient mosaics and columns can be found dotted all around the area. Visitors can view the artery of heating ducts made from stone that lay underneath the missing floors in the baths. Many archaeologists estimate that only roughly 10 percent of Conimbriga Portugal has been excavated. This makes for exciting return visits as new discoveries at the site are made on a continuous basis.
Like a lot of different archaeological sites this one was built in a series of layers. Due to the fact that several communities lived in the city there were different periods of building that occurred. The House of Cantaber is the largest adobe found in the city and was one of the most spacious ever discovered. It is designed as a normal third century home with the homes bedrooms designed around and open court. Also included in this opulent residence is a refined heating system, a private bathing compound, decorated pools and gardens.
There are plenty of intricate mosaics to be viewed at Conimbriga and many are still in excellent shape. The vibrant designs of the tiles and incredible detail include designs depicting mythological displays, hunting scenes and illustrations of various kinds of beasts. A favorite of visitors and one of the more interesting mosaics is one that shows Medusa’s head being given over to some sort of monster from the deep!
This Portugal tourist attraction includes a museum on the site that is best visited before
exploring the ruins as it depicts what the daily life
of the Romans was like. Some of the larger discoveries
from the ruins are on display inside as well such as statues
and mosaics. When to go would depend on visitors’
schedules but early morning or later afternoon when the weather cools a bit is best.
Operating hours at this Portugal tourist attraction
are from 9:00am to1:00pm and again from 2:00pm to 8:00pm.
The museum is closed on Mondays. From September 1 to March
31 the hours are the same but the latest closing hour
is at 6pm instead of 8pm and the museum is closed on Monday
during this season as well. Transportation is available from the nearby town of Coimbra and Batahla
This Portugal tourist attraction is well worth a visit, especially if interested in the Roman way of life so long ago. The baths give a good idea as to how elaborate and luxurious they once used to be and leave traces of a rich legacy behind. The main road, city walls, the house that is attributed to Cantaber and the Christian basilica all leave a good impression of this industrious and impressive past civilization.