Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Travel Tuesday: The Roman Theater in Merida, Spain
This shot shows the Roman theater in Mérida, western Spain. In Roman times it was called Emerita Augusta and was capital of the province of Lusitania. The city was founded in 25 BC. There are several well-preserved Roman buildings that make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The theater was one of the first buildings to be erected in the new city and was finished in 15 BC. It seated 6,000 people and, as you can see, its backdrop is in a remarkable state of preservation. It was improved between 333 and 335 AD, a time after the Roman Empire had converted to Christianity. The Church took a dim view of theater plays so its surprising the builders didn't remove earlier statues of pagan deities such as Serapis and Ceres. It looks like some folks in Emerita Augusta still valued the old ways.