The palatial Late Antique Roman villa at La Olmeda was built in several stages, beginning in the second quarter of the fourth century and extending in use at least to the end of the fifth. The villa complex centers on the elite quarters of rigorously symmetrical disposition, wherein twenty-seven rooms, twelve with mosaic floors, are disposed around a central patio crossed with mosaic paths in geometric patterns and linked round its perimeter by a wide peristyle. This main building housed the poentior, with its oecus or reception hall, centered in the east wing featuring a particularly resplendently mosaiced floor. Slightly raised semicircular apses mark its northeastern and northwestern end rooms.

The main body of the villa communicated with a baths by a grand passageway. The principal front of the main block faces south, with a porticoed gallery ending in octagonal tower blocks. The residential quarters face north with two rectangular corner towers.

The complex also included working and living quarters of more rustic aspect, kilns for baking roof tiles on the site, three burial grounds, and a section of paved roadway.

Today the site open to the public, while a museum dedicated to the finds is housed in the nearby church of San Pedro de Saldaña.



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Founded: 350-400 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Spain


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Cathy G (5 months ago)
GOOGLE MAPS is wrong! Only Apple Maps show the correct location. Site is beautiful though.
Alan C (AlanC-LAUK) (5 months ago)
A wonderful example of what can be done to protect a Roman site and make it easy for visitors to view and appreciate. Low prices that also include entry to the museum nearby that contains the items found during the excavation. The mosaics are huge and very detailed.
Gill C (5 months ago)
The Villa Romano must be the best preserved Roman villa in Europe. It is remarkable in the wholeness of the building, complete with living rooms, bedrooms, baths & latrines. Almost every room has its original mosaic floors. If you enjoy Roman architecture this is a must-see, €5/€3 (reduced).
W. P. (7 months ago)
Very interesting and well preserved late Roman mosaics in an extensive 'Villa'. Make sure to visit the other villa further south as well and the museum/ exhibition in Saldaña. All for a combined ticket of only 6 euros.
Kate Bell (5 years ago)
Amazing site with so many mosaics. Definitely worth a detour. Very few visitors the day we were there.
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