The Gallo-Roman amphitheater in Grand, Vosges, was one of the largest amphitheaters in the Roman Empire with 17,000 seats. Located on the outskirts of the town, the amphitheater was built outside the ramparts of Grand in the 1st century AD. The builders of the day took advantage of the natural slopes of the valley when constructing this semi-elliptical theater. We were able to have a real sense of what the Grand Amphitheater looked like originally as the seating has been constructed over one-half of the original stone supports. The seating has been built to the original dimensions and height so that you have a real sn understanding of the size of the amphitheater.
The amphitheater was built in the was abandoned in the 4th century with the rise of Christianity. The inhabitants of Grand then used the amphitheater as a quarry and for years to come they removed many of the structure’s stones to use for other purposes.
There was also an important sanctuary dedicated to Apollo Grannus, the god of healing. You can still see the remains of the rampart that surrounded the sacred enclosure.
The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.
The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.
There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.
In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.
After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.
The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.
Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.
Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.
Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.