Galicia is a region in northwestern Spain known for its coastline, tasty wines and remarkable living history…
Throughout the centuries control over Spain switched through many hands including those of the Celts, Romans, Seuvians and Moors. Eventually the country was Christianized through the Reconquista movement. the Iberian Peninsula was first invaded by the Romans in 218 BC. It would not be until the year 14 AD that Emperor Caesar Augustus officially conquered and claimed the peninsula as part of the western Roman empire. The Romans were attracted to Galicia for several reasons including mineral deposits like gold, access to the Atlantic Ocean and fertile soil. The Romans undoubtedly left their mark on this land, which they called Hispania.
When visiting this historic region in Spain, one cannot help but notice some of the structures that the ancient Romans left behind. While some have been rebuilt and restored, each is an impressive testimony to their advanced society and ingenious building skills.
Here are my top Roman ruins in Galicia, Spain:
Ourense Roman Bridge, Ourense Province
The ancient Romans left behind some of their buildings that still resonate the power they once had over the city they called Aquae Aurente. One such structure is the Roman bridge of Ourense, which crosses the Miño River. It was built to manage river crossings and also to control access to the thermal baths, which were regarded by the Romans as healing natural entities.
Roman Bridge of Ourense spanning over the Mino River
The bridge is pedestrian-only
Old meets new when the sun sets
Allariz Roman Bridge, Ourense Province… en route from Ourense to Verín
Allariz is a rural town located 15 miles (24 km) south of Ourense along the A-52 highway. For those who can appreciate a slower pace of life, Allariz is the perfect way to spend a couple of hours while on a day trip in the area. Heading north along the river on the pedestrian walkway Paseo de Alameda will bring you to O Arnado Park, where rows of chestnut trees and a sprawling green lawn flank the Roman bridge now known as the Vilanova Bridge, which is one of the town’s main attractions. The bridge makes for a picturesque backdrop for a picnic on the grass or a summertime dip in the river. Allariz can easily be explored on foot in less than a day’s time.
View of Allariz from a lookout point
Relaxing by the bridge on a chilly day
Allariz Roman Bridge from above
Roman Wall of Lugo, Lugo Province
This impressive structure was built during the third century BC to protect the town then known as Lucus. The wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the finest example of Roman fortification in western Europe. The entire top portion of the wall is a pedestrian walkway.
One of many Roman headstones excavated in Lugo
The top of wall is a pedestrian friendly street used by many for their daily commute and errands
Exterior of the wall
Roman Bridge of Lugo, Lugo Province
This is an 8-arch granite bridge located in Lugo known as the “old bridge.” Although none of its stones date back to the Roman era, the bridge sits in the very same location as the original. During Roman times the bridge was one of two major crossing points into the city of Lucus.
Roman bridge in Lugo has undergone many restorations throughout the last millennium
Quiet, reflective moments by the bridge
Tower of Hercules in A Coruña, A Coruña Province
Since 2009, this Roman lighthouse has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It measures 180 feet in height and it looks over the Northern Atlantic. It is the oldest Roman lighthouse still in operation today.
The promenade in A Coruña wraps around the city and will take you straight to the Tower of Hercules
The Tower of Hercules is one of Galicia's most iconic sights
The tower is surrounded by sculptures like this one
Ramallosa Roman Bridge, Vigo, Pontevedra Province.. en route from Vigo to Baiona
In Ramallosa, there is a 10-arch Roman bridge crossing the Miño. The word Pontevedra
Ramallosa Bridge is pedestrian-only but the modern bridge beside it was designed for local traffic
Top of the bridge
No matter which part of Galicia you decide to explore, the relics of the past are never too far out of reach.