E.J.Wilkins

22 Sep 2010 396 views
 
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photoblog image Mérida, Spain

Mérida, Spain

Amphitheatre.

As I mentioned in the text accompanying earlier images in this series, Mérida contains 29 World Heritage sites - 'listed' in 1993 as the "Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida"

 

The description from the UNESCO site says:-

 

The colony of Augusta Emerita, which became present-day Mérida in Estremadura, was founded in 25 B.C. at the end of the Spanish Campaign and was the capital of Lusitania. The well-preserved remains of the old city include, in particular, a large bridge over the Guadiana, an amphitheatre, a theatre, a vast circus and an exceptional water-supply system. It is an excellent example of a provincial Roman capital during the empire and in the years afterwards.

 

This picture shows one view of the Amphitheatre, and could be used as a lesson for 'how to take photographs'. You see, I'd carefully waited until the scene was free of people in brightly coloured summer clothes because they seemed distracting, but I now realise they would have added the essential scale - to give an idea of just how huge this place is. So, I'll have to rely on information taken from websites to give an idea of size. Oh, and a visit to the half amphitheatre in Chester will not prepare you for seeing this structure. There is no comparison.

 

The web has proved not to be my friend, the best site I've found is Spanish - this one - and the online translation offered is a bit weird, so I'll paraphrase some of it :-

 

The Amphitheatre has been dated from an inscription on the podium to around 8 B.C..

 

The arena (excluding seating) measures 54 metres long and 41 metres wide, with a cruciform pit in the centre. This pit could be flooded to enable mock sea battles to take place, when not in use it was covered by staging.

 

Seating capacity - 15,000 people.

 

The next extract is quoted directly from the online translation :-


The facade has 16 gates and various galleries for access to different parts of the grandstand.


 The interior was decorated with inscriptions and paintings on the stand on the podium.

 

 Precisely the gallery, located in the centre, was the place for the authorities with another opposite for those who coasted games.

 

In the sand can be seen, on the steps doors through which came the gladiators, some small rooms, perhaps beasts or place of worship of the goddess Numeis.

 

Online visitor/tourist advice is to allow two hours for a visit to this Amphitheatre, I'd say that this is probably the minimum time needed to just 'see' it all, without lingering.

 

 If you'd like to know more about either the Spanish National Museum of Roman Art (and some of its' priceless and awe-inspiring exhibits) or the "Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida", please take a look my other pictures and their accompanying text.

They can be found - here -.

.

Mérida, Spain

Amphitheatre.

As I mentioned in the text accompanying earlier images in this series, Mérida contains 29 World Heritage sites - 'listed' in 1993 as the "Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida"

 

The description from the UNESCO site says:-

 

The colony of Augusta Emerita, which became present-day Mérida in Estremadura, was founded in 25 B.C. at the end of the Spanish Campaign and was the capital of Lusitania. The well-preserved remains of the old city include, in particular, a large bridge over the Guadiana, an amphitheatre, a theatre, a vast circus and an exceptional water-supply system. It is an excellent example of a provincial Roman capital during the empire and in the years afterwards.

 

This picture shows one view of the Amphitheatre, and could be used as a lesson for 'how to take photographs'. You see, I'd carefully waited until the scene was free of people in brightly coloured summer clothes because they seemed distracting, but I now realise they would have added the essential scale - to give an idea of just how huge this place is. So, I'll have to rely on information taken from websites to give an idea of size. Oh, and a visit to the half amphitheatre in Chester will not prepare you for seeing this structure. There is no comparison.

 

The web has proved not to be my friend, the best site I've found is Spanish - this one - and the online translation offered is a bit weird, so I'll paraphrase some of it :-

 

The Amphitheatre has been dated from an inscription on the podium to around 8 B.C..

 

The arena (excluding seating) measures 54 metres long and 41 metres wide, with a cruciform pit in the centre. This pit could be flooded to enable mock sea battles to take place, when not in use it was covered by staging.

 

Seating capacity - 15,000 people.

 

The next extract is quoted directly from the online translation :-


The facade has 16 gates and various galleries for access to different parts of the grandstand.


 The interior was decorated with inscriptions and paintings on the stand on the podium.

 

 Precisely the gallery, located in the centre, was the place for the authorities with another opposite for those who coasted games.

 

In the sand can be seen, on the steps doors through which came the gladiators, some small rooms, perhaps beasts or place of worship of the goddess Numeis.

 

Online visitor/tourist advice is to allow two hours for a visit to this Amphitheatre, I'd say that this is probably the minimum time needed to just 'see' it all, without lingering.

 

 If you'd like to know more about either the Spanish National Museum of Roman Art (and some of its' priceless and awe-inspiring exhibits) or the "Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida", please take a look my other pictures and their accompanying text.

They can be found - here -.

.

comments (17)

an impressive site, i often wonder what these places were like in thier day, full of people
EJWilkins: It's a thought that keeps going through your mind when you're there Derek, as if the ghosts of the place are talking to you. It really was atmospheric
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 22 Sep 2010, 02:15
A wonderful theatre...still more than good enough for a performance.
EJWilkins: Oh yes, although I'm not sure if it's ever used. Different story for another site we visited though wink
Indeed impressive site! I love old places like this. It has so much character I fine.
EJWilkins: I like things like this too, but this is by far the best I've ever seen
  • Peter
  • Canada
  • 22 Sep 2010, 05:27
It is a great shot Ellie that brings us back centuries.....thanks for taking the time to provide the description....good work...petersmile
EJWilkins: Yes, it's over 2,000 years old - astonishing really. Glad the text was useful smile
  • Ginnie
  • Netherlands
  • 22 Sep 2010, 07:23
What most amazes me about a place like this, Ellie, is that it's so old and yet still so in tact! It really COULD still hold a performance.
EJWilkins: Yes, some of the seating has obviously been restored. I'm not sure if this is ever used for real these days, but an adjacent site is ... wait and see!
You could just sit here and imagine it filled with water staging mock sea battles
EJWilkins: I know, and see the ships, hear the shouting etc. Very atmospheric.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 22 Sep 2010, 07:48
The scale of this structure is very impressive Ellie
EJWilkins: Err, I just replied but it's vanished!

... That's probably the best word to use to describe this Chris - impressive
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 22 Sep 2010, 08:54
As always, you set me thinking. With or without the tourists? I vote against the tourists, as I don't need them for comparison. Your 54 x 41 metres = half a rugby field. Or almost half a football field.

Of more value and taking me back is the arena without people in shocking pink, lime green, electric blue etc.

If you had the two pictures - one with and one without tourists - which one will you hang on the wall? I believe the one without the tourists.

With the tourists you will have 'show and tell' value. This kind of picture tends to have a once-off value - that of education. After a person has seen, the page is closed.

The picture that goes to the wall will be appreciated many times by one person.

Please remember that it is only my personal opinion and relates to the specific picture only. I would, for instance, want people in some pictures in a series about travelling with a barge down a canal. Scale would not be the purpose then.

You guessed it by now - I like the picture as it is.
EJWilkins: I think you're probably right and if I was there again I think I'd do the same. Thanks for the reasoned 'argument' Louis. smile
Spain is indeed a most fascinating country. This is new to me so thank you for showing it.
EJWilkins: We'd never been to this part of Spain before, it's certainly off the normal 'tourist trail' which makes it even more special to visit. But it all takes much longer than either books or online advice suggests. You do need more than two days to visit Mérida and actually relax a bit whilst looking around.
These ancient ruins are so interesting Ellie..Do you have more.
EJWilkins: Quite a few more Ron, yes. They'll all end up in the same folder entitled Mérida.
Seems there is still a 'dig' taking place. Very interesting, Ellie.
EJWilkins: Not within this part of the arena Mary, the ropes you can see were to stop people falling into the entrance to the low area in the centre - which was flooded and used to perform mock sea battles.
So many influences in Spain. An impressive structure.
EJWilkins: Yes, so very many influences, it's not easy to work out which has had the greater impact.
I have visited one of these before and they are huge, you have captured this one very well Ellie, great info too smile
EJWilkins: I've never seen an amphitheatre so large and so complete before, so it was probably all the more "Wow"
A smaller version of the amphitheatre we visited in Verona a few years back, it looks very well preserved in parts.
EJWilkins: Yikes! It's hard to imagine a larger one!
Very interresting comment on the site !
EJWilkins: Thanks smile
Impressive aren't they. Based on my experiences of these amphitheatres in places like Arles and Nimes you must have waited weeks for a clear view, which must be the better option if only for novelty value.
EJWilkins: No, I didn't have to wait long. It was extraordinarily hot and possibly a case of the 'mad dogs and Englishmen syndrome' - check the shadows!
All in all though there were far fewer furriners in the town than we'd expected for somewhere so historically and archaeologically important.
  • Scotia
  • United Kingdom
  • 22 Sep 2010, 22:11
I have just been showing my wife a slideshow of your Roman images - we must try and visit this area sometine Ellie
EJWilkins: Have you? Goodness, I've never tried the slide show thingy on here, perhaps I ought to. Thanks.

You know you should try to go, but you do need to allow more than two days if you want to longer and look, there's simply soooo much to see in Mérida and there are other places not too far away too, and into Portugal as well ...

When we were there we stayed in a lovely hotel in a nearby town, I'll tell you more if you like, email would probably be best.

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