E.J.Wilkins

16 Nov 2010 3,222 views
 
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photoblog image Mérida, Spain

Mérida, Spain

 

Circus Maximus / Circo Romano / Hippodrome.

 

The Hippodrome was completed in 20 B.C., some sources say it was 'inaugorated in 30 B.C., so I'm guessing it took ten years to build.

 

The arena alone is 4,170 metres long and 112 metres wide. That's almost 1/4 mile by approx 122 yards. To get an idea of scale imagine a football pitch, which is about 100 metres long and about 60 -70 metres wide ... the Hippodrome is big enough for 69-70 football pitches side by side. 

 

The seating provided enough space for 30,000 spectators.


The Hippodrome is outside the city walls, and although it's huge it isn't very easy to find. It's here (aerial view, Flash Earth)

 

The mosaic is from the National Museum of Roman Art, it shows a popular and successful charioteer with his team of horses.

 

We weren't in Spain long enough to get used to opening hours and arrived at the Hippodrome a mere fifteen minutes before they were due to close for the afternoon. Those few minutes were long enough to gawp and be amazed, and take a number of 'holiday snaps' which are filmstripped round the edge of the mosaic.

 

More about Mérida > here <

.

Mérida, Spain

 

Circus Maximus / Circo Romano / Hippodrome.

 

The Hippodrome was completed in 20 B.C., some sources say it was 'inaugorated in 30 B.C., so I'm guessing it took ten years to build.

 

The arena alone is 4,170 metres long and 112 metres wide. That's almost 1/4 mile by approx 122 yards. To get an idea of scale imagine a football pitch, which is about 100 metres long and about 60 -70 metres wide ... the Hippodrome is big enough for 69-70 football pitches side by side. 

 

The seating provided enough space for 30,000 spectators.


The Hippodrome is outside the city walls, and although it's huge it isn't very easy to find. It's here (aerial view, Flash Earth)

 

The mosaic is from the National Museum of Roman Art, it shows a popular and successful charioteer with his team of horses.

 

We weren't in Spain long enough to get used to opening hours and arrived at the Hippodrome a mere fifteen minutes before they were due to close for the afternoon. Those few minutes were long enough to gawp and be amazed, and take a number of 'holiday snaps' which are filmstripped round the edge of the mosaic.

 

More about Mérida > here <

.

comments (16)

  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 16 Nov 2010, 05:35
This can be a page of a travel guide, the few minutes you had were enough to catch all the important things to see.
Wonderful presentation.
EJWilkins: Thank you so much Astrid, it was so disappointing to have arrived at the wrong time, but at least we were able to see it for a few minutes before we left the town
  • vintage
  • Brisbane Australia
  • 16 Nov 2010, 06:31
Great work Ellie
EJWilkins: Thanks Vintage
Superb presentation Ellie thanks for the notes. Spain is a beautiful country and this area appears to be crying out for a visit.
EJWilkins: I think you'll be booking your flights when you see the next (and last) image in this series!
  • Chris
  • England
  • 16 Nov 2010, 08:27
Very interesting Ellie: this was once the centre of great activity & must have been quite grand too
EJWilkins: I think it must have been, the charioteers were obviously well thought of too, for somebody to have commissioned the mosaic, it was enormous!
I like your comparison to footbal pitches Ellie, this is huge.
EJWilkins: It seemed the easiest way to describe the sheer size of the place, I don't think I've ever been in an 'enclosure' that's so huge. People sitting/standing at one end won't have been able to clearly see what was happening at the far end
Looks a fascinating place. I really do like the way you have set this out, very impressive.

Afternoon closing (siesta time) takes a bit of getting used to.
EJWilkins: Thanks. Yes, we were only there for a couple of days and could understand, from the weather/temperatures, why places closed, but ... well ...
  • Ginnie
  • Netherlands
  • 16 Nov 2010, 09:00
This is really a fabulous collage, Ellie. I love the way you did this. There's so much to see.
EJWilkins: There was a lot to see Ginnie, and a museum/display of the place too.
Firstly, great presentation! Secondly, lovely collection of images. Thirdly, I now have a dilema - do I watch Ben Hur or Gladiator, whilst I do my ironing! lol! (:o)
EJWilkins: I think you should watch Ben Hur whilst ironing, because it might make you iron more quickly, then settle down to watch Gladiator afterwards ... as a reward!
What a wonderful presentation Ellie. There are many interesting things to look at!
EJWilkins: There was a lot to see, too much to take in in such a short time
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 16 Nov 2010, 11:07
Hmmm! Not sure about your maths and conversion here, EeJay, but I am still thinking "BIG"!

I like your distinctive presentation style, too.
EJWilkins: Well, almost 70 football pitches side by side is a lot more than two or three!
Now that's what I call agreat posting Ellie, interesting in content and great in presentation. Congratulations.
EJWilkins: Thank you so much Brian
Must have been a fairly important city to have a Hippodrome like this
EJWilkins: Mérida was the capital of Lusitania and is still the capital of the Extramadura region, so I guess it was important and there were probably a fair few wealthy Romans there too.
I've never seen a 'built' space so huge
Fine detail, Ellie.
EJWilkins: Thanks Graeme
A neat way of showing site and mosaic. The detail and captions show the Romans were quite 'hip' smile
EJWilkins: I'd guess the charioteer was as important as, if not more important, than a good footballer these days.
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 17 Nov 2010, 05:11
I certainly get "big", Ellie.

I just have this "concern" that my in-skull conversion calculator is suggesting 4,170 metres might be a bit more than 1/4 mile...do I need to re-calibrate...

[grin]
  • Peter
  • Canada
  • 20 Dec 2010, 02:03
This is an excellent presentation Ellie......drop by and i will show you some of Pompeii this week.....petersmile

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