The museums of the Caesaraugusta Route

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Posted February 13, 2019 by zaragozaturismo in Culture

During your stay in Zaragoza, we offer you a journey through time back to the origins of our city, a time of splendour to discover through the route of the museums of Caesaraugusta.

Our town was the only Roman city to enjoy the privilege of bearing the full name of the Emperor Caesar Augusto. The date of foundation of Caesaraugusta is estimated in the year 14 BC, perhaps coinciding with the 50th Emperor’s birthday on December 23.

During the 1st and 2nd century AD the city experienced a period of splendor during which large public works were undertaken. The museums of the Forum, River Port, Public Baths and Theater form the Caesaraugusta Route, an itinerary to discover the political center and the most emblematic public buildings of the Roman city as well as the areas where the commercial, economic, political and social, cultural and religious activities of the Roman colony took place.

The Caesaraugusta Forum Museum

Located under the floor of the current plaza de la Seo, it houses the archaeological remains found during excavations carried out in the years 1988-1991 in this area of the city and which have been preserved on their original site.

The known architectural structures correspond to two successive stages of the colony’s Forum. The oldest structures date from the foundation of the Roman city and show the remains of a market: the drinking water pipes, sewer with its channels and a few walls of stores.

From a later date are the remains of a larger Forum. As a result of a tremendous expansion planned and started at the end of the 1st century  BC, during the reign of Augustus and completed during the first decades of the 1st century at the time of Tiberius, this site includes a large sewer, channels and foundations of a sector of the portico and contiguous facilities , located outside the forum.

The large structures of the Forum are housed in the nearby Museum, the river port, which contains a staircase by which one could access the bank of the River Ebro, where was the port of the Roman city.

 

The River port museum of Caesaraugusta

During the demolition of old buildings in 1989, the remains of architectural structures were discovered which form the north-eastern edge of what the great Forum of Caesaraugusta was.

In this section of the Forum, the monumental ensemble preserved is composed by a series of openings belonging to a spectacular façade with arcades facing the river, allowing access between the docks and the main square of the great forum of the city.

In some of the ashlar stone of this sector were preserved the cutting marks made by the builders: soldiers belonging to the Legion VI Victrix and X Gémina who together with the Macedonian legion IV, founded the city of Caesaraugusta.

 

Museum of the Public Baths 

In the center of the urban axis formed by the great Roman public buildings (Forum and theater) were erected the public baths, operating from the 1st century BC until the beginning of the fourth century.

The first remains of the baths were discovered in 1982, during works on the San Juan and San Pedro streets. After its discovery, the excavation area was extended to the nearby plot where other remains of this large thermal complex were recovered.

The facilities had various parts: hot, temperate, and cold rooms, changing rooms, gym… The remains of latrines which were demolished to build a large outdoor pool have been preserved.

 

Museum of the theatre of Caesaraugusta 

The Roman Theater was discovered by chance in 1972, at the beginning of the construction of a new building in Veronica Street. It’s the Roman monument best preserved of the city.

After several archaeological campaigns, the city of Zaragoza took over the excavations from 1998 to 2002, date in which began the construction of the museum.

For more than 200 years, the theather was the place for meetings, entertainment, social life and had an important role in the transmission of cultural , political and religious values of the Roman Empire.

Its location on the highest point of the city allowed it to dominate a monumental urban axis, from the Ebro to the Coso.

 


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