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Baelo Claudia

 
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The Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia show how important the town used to be as a fish-salting community. Baelo Claudia was a Roman settlement located just north of the present coastal fishing village on the Atlantic coast of the Costa de la Luz, some 15 km north of Tarifa.

 
 
 
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The town developed about 2000 years BC as a maritime link to Tangier. It became an important fish-salting (the garum sauce mentione earlier) industrial centre and was thriving at the time of Emperor Claudius (41 -45 AD). By the second century it was in decline and was nearly destroyed by an earthquake. By the sixth century AD it was abandoned.
The ruins feature an entrance arch and main street, a forum, a temple, an amphitheatre, and in the industrial area the large fish salting pits. The radiography of a civilisation.
Its archaeological importance derives from the large number of preserved elements, allowing a complete view of the Roman 'polis'.
This prosperous city was born at the end of the second century BC. The street pattern is rectangular with two main thoroughfares - a horizontal one and a vertical one crossing in the forum - outstanding. Here can be found the curia, the basilica and the buildings that made up the administrative life of the city. On the lower part of the site is the monumental sector, with the theatre in the part with the greatest slope to take advantage of the gradient for building the terracing. It is believed that the homes of the Plebians might have been located in the higher part. The salting factories, for the famous 'garum' that gave Baelo Claudio its nickname, still remain, as does the market, the baths and one of the three aqueducts that supplied water. Declared an Archaeological Site by the Andalusian government in 1989.
The ruins are open to the public and well worth the visit. Free to EU citizens on production of an ID card. Otherwise the entrance fee is only € 1,50.
Opening times on Tuesdays to Saturdays, June to September are 10.00 to 20.00, March, April, May and October 10.00 to 19.00, From November to February 10.00 to 18.00. Sundays and Holidays the opening time is 10am to 2pm. Like many monuments in Spain it is closed Mondays and 1 Jan, 6 Jan, 24 Dec, 25 Dec, 31 Dec. There is a large car park by the ruins. The last entry is half an hour before the closing time.


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