The footprint of Rome in Aragón


In the northern area, there are several sites from Roman times. The nowadays Comarca de las Cinco Villas was heavily romanized and populated by rich families dedicated to the agricultural production and trade of cereal. Near Sádaba you can see the remains of the Synagogue Mausoleum and the Atilios Mausoleum, also known as the Altar of the Moors.

Uncastillo. Roman heritage in Los Bañales. Aqueduct. Julio E. Foster©. 9-3-03

In Uncastillo, there are the remains of one of the most important residential cities in the area: Los Bañales, where parts of the forum, the temple, the hot springs, as well as 32 imposing pillars of an aqueduct are preserved.

In the Province of Huesca, the Labitolosa Site in Puebla de Castro also stands out, where you can visit the remains of the Curia and the hot springs of the Spanish-Roman city.

Archaeological site of Los Bañales, Uncastillo- Archivo del Gobierno de Aragón

The Middle Ebro Valley and the surrounding territories stand out for the abundance of settlements from Roman times that are preserved there. In the westernmost area, which today includes the regions of Tarazona and Moncayo and Campo de Borja, the cities of Turiaso (Tarazona), Bursau (Borja) and the one currently known as El Convento (Mallén) were located, whose architectural, sculptural or ceramic remains denote the importance of these settlements in Roman times.  


Roman Theater in Zaragoza, foto de Turismo de Aragón

The current city of Zaragoza was founded in 14 B.C. by Augustus as Caesaraugusta and it became the capital of the legal convent of the same name. Part of the urban fabric of the Roman city is preserved, as well as its walls. The remains of the most significant buildings in the city are preserved in the different archaeological museums: the Forum Museum, the River Port Museum, the Museum of Public Baths and the Roman Theater Museum.

Following the course of the Ebro river, after leaving Zaragoza, we find the La Corona site (Fuentes de Ebro), a small republican settlement abandoned in the second half of the 1st century B.C.

In Velilla de Ebro, Colonia Celsa is located, the main city in the Middle Ebro Valley before the founding of Caesaraugusta and which has a monographic center on the site.

Another of the sites that has an interpretation center is the Cabezo de Alcalá (Azaila, Teruel), an Ibero-Roman city razed during the Sertorian Wars.

Lépida Celsa, in Velilla de Ebro, foto de Turismo de Aragón
Cabezo de Alcalá, in Azaila, foto de Turismo de Aragón

Two of the most relevant funerary monuments in the Autonomous Community are located in the Bajo Aragón-Caspe region: The Mausoleum of Miralpeix in Caspe and the Mausoleum of Fabara. In the easternmost part of the area, in the town of Fraga (Huesca), is the one known as Villa Fortunatus, which belonged to a rich Roman family and of which some magnificent architectural remains are preserved, highlighting its mosaic pavements.

Mausoleo de Fabara, foto de Turismo de Aragón

To the South of the Zaragoza region, in Botorrita, we can find the Cabezo de las Minas Deposit, an enclave in which the Celtiberian and Roman nucleus of Contrebia Belaisca settled, which became an important administrative and territorial center.

The low imperial town of La Malena (Azuara) is located in the Campo de Belchite region, where magnificent mosaics were found are currently explained in the Interpretation Center of the Roman town of La Malena. Near this town we find one of the most important and best-preserved hydraulic works in Roman Hispania: the Almonacid de la Cuba dam, that regulated the course of the Aguasvivas river, allocating water to irrigate the area.

Roman dam in Almonacid de la Cuba, foto de

In the Calatayud región, two of the most outstanding sites in Aragon are found. A few kilometers from Calatayud the imposing remains of the city of Bílbilis rise, among which the forum, the theater, the thermal baths and various houses such as Ninfeo or La Fortuna stand out.

In the Cerro del Villar, near Monreal de Ariza, the Celtiberian city Arcóbriga was located, romanized in the late imperial period, of which the thermal baths and the temple are preserved, among other remains.

In the Province of Teruel the hydraulic engineering works stand out in number: the Entrambasaguas Bridge (Luco de Jiloca) is located on the bed of the Pancrudo river, which was part of the road that linked Caesaraugusta (Zaragoza) with Castrelo (Cazorla) together with the Roman bridge of Calamocha, the latter over the Jiloca river.

Two of the main deposits in the province are La Caridad (Caminreal) and Cabezo de la Guardia (Alcorisa). In addition, the City Museum houses among its collections a large number of pieces from different archaeological sites from Roman times in the province.

Information from

Published by David Gonzalvo

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