Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Spain

Aqueduct of Segovia

The Roman aqueduct of Segovia was built, probably in the 1st century BC, to bring water from the mountains to the hilltop settlement of Segovia. It was a massive feat of engineering as it ran for around 15 km and had to cross a wide valley before it entered the city. It was used to bring water to the town until the 19th century. Today the aquduct is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site that also includes the old city and ...
Founded: 50 BCE | Location: Segovia, Spain

Arabian Baths

Tucked away underneath a private house about halfway along the Carrera del Darro are the oldest and best-preserved Arabic baths in Spain. The Banuelo dates from around the 11th century and its elegant Moorish archways and domed ceilings are still amazingly intact after a thousand years (although the baths themselves have long since vanished). Undoubtedly, after the Alhambra and the Generalife, this is the greatest surv ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Granada, Spain

Roman Theatre

El Teatro Romano is the oldest survived monument in Málaga City; it is situated at the foot of the famous Alcazaba fortress. The theatre was built in the first century BC, under Emperor Augustus, and was used until the third century AD. Subsequently it was left to ruin for centuries, until the Moors settled in Andalucía. In 756-780AD the amphitheatre was used as a quarry by the Moorish settlers , to excavate the stone u ...
Founded: 100-0 BCE | Location: Málaga, Spain

Caliphal Baths

The Caliphal Baths are Arab baths in Córdoba. They are situated in the historic centre which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994. The hammam ('baths) are contiguous to the Alcázar andalusí; ablutions and bodily cleanliness were an essential part of a Muslim's life, mandatory before prayer, besides being a social ritual. The baths were constructed in the 10th century, under the Caliphate of Al-Hakam II ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Cave of Hercules

The Cave of Hercules is a subterranean vaulted space dating back to Roman times located in the alley of San Ginés. The cave is under the Church of San Ginés. The structure was likely constructed in the time of the Roman Empire, probably towards the second half of the 1st century, when it was used as a water reservoir. It is located in the east corner of the current courtyard and was built in two construction phase ...
Founded: 0-100 AD | Location: Toledo, Spain

Roman Baths of Campo Valdes

These thermae (Roman baths) of Gijón are considered one of the most important sites in northern Spain. Campo Valdés are a site museum on baths dating from the Early Empire. They are located in front of the Church of San Pedro under Campo Valdés Gardens, at sea level. The baths were discovered in 1903, remaining hidden from the public until 1965. Located outside the Roman walls, the baths consisted of two distinct un ...
Founded: 0-100 AD | Location: Gijón, Spain

Roman Theatre

The Roman theatre of Cádiz is an ancient structure discovered in 1980. The theatre, which was likely built during the 1st century BC and was one of the largest ever built in the Roman empire, was abandoned in the 4th century and, in the 13th century, a fortress was built on its ruins by order of King Alfonso X of Castile. The theatre featured a cavea with a diameter of more than 120 meters, and could house some 10,000 s ...
Founded: 1st century BCE | Location: Cádiz, Spain

Roman Theatre

The Roman Theatre in Cartagena was built between 5 and 1 BCE, as has been proven by the dedication of the edifice to Gaius and Lucius Caesar, grandsons of Augustus, who had designated them as his successors. In the 3rd century a market was built over the theatre, reusing its materials, with a semicircular open space which followed the plan of the orchestra. The market was perhaps abandoned after a fire caused by the ...
Founded: 5 BCE | Location: Cartagena, Spain

Roman Temple of Córdoba

The construction of Roman temple in Córdoba began during the reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD) and ended some forty years later, during the reign of Emperor Domitian (81-96 CE). Presumably it was dedicated to the imperial cult. The temple underwent some changes in the 2nd century, reforms that coincide with the relocation of the colonial forum. In the area had already been found architectural elements, such as drums ...
Founded: c. 50 AD | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Medina Azahara

Medina Azahara ("the shining city") is the ruins of a vast, fortified Andalus palace-city built by Abd-ar-Rahman III (912–961), the first Umayyad Caliph of Córdoba. Located on the western outskirts of Córdoba, it was the de facto capital of al-Andalus as the heart of the administration and government was within its walls. In 2018, the site was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Built beginning in 936- ...
Founded: 936 AD | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Baños árabes de Ronda

Baños árabes de Ronda is a thermal building of the Arab time, the best conserved of its kind at the Iberian Peninsula. It is located at the old arab quarter of the city, being the formerly outside quarter of the arab medina (city) of Ronda. The bahts were built near the Arroyo de las Culebras (snakes" stream), a perfect place in order to be provided of water, which was moved by a waterwheel, in an current perfect ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Ronda, Spain

Castro de Vigo

The O Castro site is Vigo’s archaeological site par excellence: this was the origin of what is now the largest city in Galicia, between the second century BC and the third century AD. When you step on the stones of this museum site, the O Castro de Vigo. A Orixe da cidade, you’ll discover where the first inhabitants of Vigo lived. The Castro is a 1 mile² archaeological site that includes the reconstruction ...
Founded: 2nd century BCE | Location: Vigo, Spain

Molinete Roman Forum

The Roman Forum Museum of Molinete stands as the entrance to one of the largest urban archaeological parks in Spain. Throughout its various halls, where a careful selection of pieces is exhibited, you will be able to learn about the long history of Cerro del Molinete from today back to the old Carthago Nova. The visit concludes with a tour of important remains of the glorious Roman era that invite you to stroll through t ...
Founded: 2nd century BCE | Location: Cartagena, Spain

Castro de Santa Trega

Castro de Santa Trega is a Galician fort and archaeological site located on the hillsides of Mount Santa Trega. The site is strategically located overlooking the mouth of the river Miño. Belonging to the Castro culture, it is the most emblematic and visited Galician fort. Santa Trega is a ‘Castro-Roman’ settlement. It was inhabited between 100 BC and 100 AD, in a period when the process of Romanisation of the northw ...
Founded: 100 BCE | Location: A Guarda, Spain

Roman Remains of Pollentia

Pollentia was founded by the consul Qintus Caecilius Metellus in 123 BC in the strategic location between the bays of Pollenca and Alcudia. It was the most important city in the Balearics duing the Roman period and covered an area of 15-20 hectares. This area suffered a devastating fire in the 3rd century AD, but the city was not depopulated, since the construction of a fortification in the fifth century AD has been docu ...
Founded: 123 BC | Location: Alcúdia, Spain

Punic wall of Cartagena

The Punic wall of Cartagena (Muralla púnica de Cartagena) is an archaeological site from the 3rd century BC in which can be seen the first defensive wall of Cartagena, built by the Carthaginians. This is an important site because it is one of the few remains of Carthaginian civilization in Spain, and the walls bear witness to one of the most important events of Ancient history in the Mediterranean Sea: the Se ...
Founded: 3rd century BCE | Location: Cartagena, Spain

Iruña-Veleia

Veleia was a Roman town in Hispania. It was an important station on the Roman road ab Asturica Burdigalam that ran parallel to the coast of the Bay of Biscay. At its apogee, the city could have been inhabited by some five to ten thousand people, and apparently went through different cycles of prosperity and decline into the Early Middle Ages until it was finally abandoned. The archaeological site of Iruña-Veleia is t ...
Founded: 1st century AD | Location: Iruña de Oca, Spain

l'Argentina Navetas

Biniac has two circular burial navetas that were used around 1400 B.C. and are from an earlier period than the long rectangular constructions like the Es Tudons and Rafal Rubí navetas. The east naveta was built on bedrock and has only one oval-shaped chamber, accessed via a perforated stone slab. Several slabs that had fallen over were found inside. The west naveta is also oval-shaped and the wall on the south side has d ...
Founded: 1400 BCE | Location: Alaior, Spain

Caños de Carmona Roman Aqueduct

The Caños de Carmona (Pipes of Carmona) are the remains of a Roman aqueduct 17.5 kilometres long, later rebuilt by the Almohads, which connected the cities of Carmona and Seville, and which was fully operational until its demolition in 1912. It was primary constructed from bricks, and consisted of approximately 400 arches standing on pillars, with additional upper arcade sections in some places. It is believed to be the ...
Founded: 68-65 BCE | Location: Seville, Spain

Cerro del Bú

Predating Roman Toledo, this small but steep hill on the less populated side of the Río Tajo is sprinkled with Bronze Age remains overlain with vestiges of a 10th-century Moorish fort. A path leads down from the main road where there’s an explanatory board and site map. It’s best integrated into a visit to the Mirador del Valle viewpoint nearby.
Founded: 10th century | Location: Toledo, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.