Galicia is a region in northwestern Spain known for its coastline, tasty white wines and remarkable living history…but it is also home to some of Spain’s best historical wonders. Below are the best Roman ruins in Galicia, Spain. For more information about Galicia, check out our article about the Top Reasons to Visit Galicia, Spain.
Brief History of Galicia
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.
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 during certain times each day
Ourense by night
Allariz Roman Bridge… 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.
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.
The top of wall is a pedestrian friendly street used by many for their daily commute and errands
Impressive sight as you drive into the old town
Roman Bridge of Lugo
The Roman Bridge of Lugo is an 8-arched granite bridge known simply 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 Roman city of Lucus.
Roman bridge in Lugo has undergone many restorations throughout the last millennium
Tower of Hercules in A Coruña
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.
A Coruña’s Seaside Promenade also known as “Paseo Maritimo”
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… en route from Vigo to Baiona
In Ramallosa, there is a 10-arch Roman bridge crossing the Miño.