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

judith shires (18 months ago)
Great place to visit. Quite a lot of up and down walking. Takes about 1 hr to visit.
Lee Smith (18 months ago)
Fantastic place to visit, especially if you are into Roman historical sites, because this is one of the better preserved sites. Also, right next to the place is the superb local beach with pristine sand and clear blue waters, like on the Mediterranean side of Spain, hence warmer water because it is fairly shallow in places. Overall this is a great place to visit especially if you have children.
Pauline (19 months ago)
Unfortunately we went here on a Sunday when the site was closed ☹ It is a very impressive archaeological Roman settlement for the men who fished for tuna and even includes remains of the vats they used and an amphitheatre. We will definitely return when we are next in the area, when hopefully it is open.
Geoff Fabron (20 months ago)
An impressive site and museum. If you are interested in Roman history and archaeology then this is a must see place.
Walt Jenkins (22 months ago)
This place is awesome! There aren’t many places you can see almost an entire Roman town - this is one of them! It is a little hard to get to - we rented a car in Seville and drove down. Besides for the beach and a small beach community, you won’t find much else. The museum is nice and has some artifacts, but walking the town is fantastic. It is a nice stop if you are driving to Gibraltar. It seems like there is still a fair amount of archeological work to be done - the top part of the town, the residential part, is basically a pasture for the local bovines and is not open to the public. Admission is very reasonable. We are glad we made the trip!
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