10. Madrid: Roman Empire Tour
We will leave at 8:30 a.m. from the Plaza del Conde de Casal, Madrid, escorted by our guide. Our first stop will be in Segóbriga. One of the most important Roman cities in the center of Spain, in which some of its most characteristic parts are still preserved, such as the forum, the baths, the theater and the amphitheatre.
We will continue our tour by visiting one of the most unique attractions in the area, the Lapis Specularis Mines. The Romans extracted here this ore, which they used as crystal, and they distributed it throughout their empire, creating great wealth in the area.
Afterwards, we will give you free time to have lunch in the city of Cuenca.
We will end our tour with a guided visit to the Mosaics of the Roman Villa of Noheda. This villa hosts the largest mosaics of the Roman Empire found until today, with almost 300 square meters of extension.
At the end of the visit we will begin our way back to Madrid, where we will arrive at roughly 19:30hrs
Archaeological park of Segobriga. One of the most important traces of the Roman world. This city was the economical and trading ground control for the mines where they obatined the Lapis Specularis, also known as Hispania’s Crystal, allowing its economical peak and its monumental developement starting in the times of Augustus. It is one of the best examples of a Roman city in the center of the Iberian Peninsula, center of lapis specularis mining, true engine of growth of this region in the times of the Romans, which reflects in an obvious way in the city’s urban design. There were only 7 Roman cities in Spain that had a theatre an amphitheatre and a circus, and Segobriga is one of them. We will be thrilled b yan ancient Roman theater and we will step on the arena of a real amphitheatre, followed by the visit of the public baths.
Lapis Specularis mines. Hispania’s Crystal, in Saceda del Río district. In small groups of approximately ten people, our guide will bring to a context the value this material gave to this region long time ago. An authentic Roman mine to analyze, in a very visual way, the means and the techniques used in these spaces, lighting, working process, etc. These mines are located in an unmatched natural space, making of this visit the perfect blend between a nature excursion and a historical visit.
The Roman Villa of Noheda. This luxurious Roman Villa from IV Century AD, known as the Spanish Pompei, hosts the largest Roman mosaic in the world. At the villa’s triclinium, of 231 square meters, we can find this mosaic unique because of both its dimensions and its state of preservation as well as because of its rich figurative scenes. It is, without a doubt, one of the great wonders on the Roman world. Not in vain declared Katherine Dunbabin, emeritus profesor at Oxford University and one of the world’s greatest experts in mosaics, that it is “the most impressive mosaic she had ever seen along the whole Roman Empire”.