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 -.
|exposure mode||aperture priority|