Baelo Claudia

Tarifa, Spain

Baelo Claudia is a well preserved Roman city in Andalucia, Spain, founded in the 2nd century BC. The town was important for fish processing. It was also a centre for trade with Roman towns in North Africa.

The life of the inhabitants reached its greatest splendor during the 1st century BC and the 2nd century AD. In the middle of the 2nd century, however, the town declined, probably as a result of a major earthquake which wiped out a large part. In addition to such natural disasters, by the 3rd century, the town was beset by hordes of pirates, both Germanic and Barbary. Although it experienced a slight renaissance later in the century, by the 6th century, the town had been abandoned.

Excavations have revealed the most comprehensive remains of a Roman town in the whole of the Iberian Peninsula, with extremely interesting monuments such as the basilica, theatre, market, and the temple of Isis. Today you can visit the museum, walk around the remains, and admire the scenic location.


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Founded: Roman
Category: Ruins in Spain


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

B. L. S. (8 months ago)
We visited on a Tuesday and the entrance was free, there was plenty of parking, and it’s a beautiful location. There is a museum to walk through that explains the life of the town and its fish industries and displays some of the art and artifacts recovered from the site. The actual grounds are very interesting to see and parts are surprisingly well preserved for being 2200+ years old. We spent about an hour and a half here and really enjoyed it. The beach next to it is beautiful as well
Mark Kull (9 months ago)
It was a well presented experience with some restricted movement because of COVID. Friendly and service minded staff. Displayed areas were well signed in both Spanish and English. Adequate general and handicapped parking. This is a gaditano jewel that should not be missed by those with even a slight interest in Roman history of the immediate area. Great value for price, a euro fifty.
Arthur Morin (10 months ago)
A magical place. You can see North Africa across the strait. It’s very windy and there are spirits all around. This city had a garum factory, taking advantage of the abundance of fish in these waters. Garum was a fermented fish sauce which was a popular condiment in the Roman world.
Oo Barber (2 years ago)
Organised entry wasn't working well. Very limited tickets for entry times. Having gone back twice there's not enough explanations how to get tickets. Sadly lots of frustration in people being turned away from this lovely place....
Rod MacPhedran (2 years ago)
I could imagine Roman soldiers coming by sea and seeing this wonderful city on the hill with its three temples overlooking the
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