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

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kate Bell (4 years ago)
Amazing site with so many mosaics. Definitely worth a detour. Very few visitors the day we were there.
Tiago Barreiro (4 years ago)
Seeing the mosaics in situ in this well preserved state is really worth a small detour.
Miguel Eduardo Gil Biraud (4 years ago)
Really interesting roman villa that is remarkably well preserved. It is now covered so I'd specially recommend this visit if you are in the area and the weather is not great for outdoor activities
Mynhardt Potgieter (4 years ago)
This is a must see! I never imagined such a beautiful place existed. The mosaics are absolutely phenomenal! Well worth the visit with commentary in English to boot!
Maria Reeds (5 years ago)
One of the best museums ever. Almost intact Roman villa with amazing mosaic floors. Information in English - and free entry on Tuesday afternoon!
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