Pre-Christian basilica with a regular layout, the central nave paved with a magnificent mosaic which can still be seen. It dates from the 6th century A.D., when the Byzantine army of Justinian (the Eastern Roman Emperor who aspired to rebuild the Western Roman Empire) had conquered the Balearic Islands.
It faces from east to west, and on the northern side retains a small hemispherical baptismal font built in stone and mortar, with a waterproof lining.
There are three separate sections: The rectangular apse with the base of an altar, surrounded by bunches of grapes, the central motif being a classical wine bowl and two peacocks. The grapes represent life, while the peacocks facing one another represent the resurrection. Between the nave and the head, two lions face a palm tree. They have been interpreted as a reference to Jewish tradition, which was particularly important at that time in Maó. The lions represent the power of death, while the palm is the tree of life. The nave for the congregation reveals geometric figures and depictions of birds, in a clearreference to Paradise.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.