Central Portugal – Off the Tourist Trail


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At the week -end I finally visited the Roman site of Conimbriga. I have been meaning to go for ages now, but have ended up doing stuff to my house instead, or visiting places closer by .Well, my house is more or less finished, so after my attempts at mosaicking, I decided  to have a look at the beautiful mosaics that the Romans created almost 2000 years ago.

I was really pleased I made the effort, as I had a fantastic day. I had not realized that Conimbriga is one of the biggest roman site within Portugal , and that one of the houses, the Casa de Cantaber, is one of the largest houses discovered in the Western Roman Empire ( 3260 m 2). It was built towards the end of the 1st century AD , and you can still see the underground heating and water systems that provided hot and cold baths and  heating throughout. They were so clever those Romans !

At the house of Fountains, there were lots of wonderful intricate mosaics still largely intact, that were discovered less than a hundred years ago . There is also a museum which is worth a mooch around .It has many smaller artifacts, more mosaics and general information .

Also at the site are the cities baths, pools, and steam rooms , the remains of the forum,  the city wall and viaduct .Within the 32 acre site there is apparently an amphitheatre, but this and much more has yet to be excavated. The excavation started in 1912.

I would definitely recommend any one coming to Central Portugal, to pay Conimbriga a visit .  I will go back again I am sure. Next time I will take a picnic , and enjoy it in the shady picnic  spot near the ruins.

Conimbriga is about 15 kms south of Coimbra, 1 km from the town of Condeixa Nova

The site is open  every day (apart from major bank holidays) from 10 am  until 6pm, and until 8pm in the summer. It costs 4 €  to visit the ruins and the museum, and there is a snack bar, restaurant and  nice shady picnic area  within the site .

Here are a few photos to give you an idea of how it is .

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Author: portugalholidayguide

I love making and creating , and trying out new ideas .

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