Río Verde Roman Villa

Marbella, Spain

The ancient site at Rio Verde was once part of the great Roman city of Cilniana. It now houses the remains of a late 1st century AD Roman villa. Sadly all that is left is the floor and a small portion of the walls of the villa. However, fortunately for us it is a floor unlike any other - embellished with black and white mosaic tiles in patterns never before seen in a Roman Villa, and intricately encased by a border of the same unusual black and white stones. These mosaics could pass for a monument in their own right, and are certainly worth a visit.

The columns that would once have held the structure together have been removed, probably to form part of another grand structure in the surrounding area. However, the mosaics are completely unique and are famous for their unusual design. Where traditional mosaics would present classical themes and intricate designs, the villa at Rio Verde displays a bizarre collection of images in black and white: shoes, kitchen utensils and tables filled with food. They are incredibly well preserved. Objects found at the site during the archaeological excavation have been moved to the Malaga Museum.



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Founded: 0-100 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Spain

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ingo Mrosewski (14 months ago)
Worth a trip to see some nice Roman mosaics from the end of the 1st century A.D.
Jamie Mason (2 years ago)
Such an amazing ruin. The mosaics were stunning and so unusual! The real joy was the archaeologist’s enthusiasm as our guide. Learnt so much about the history and aspirations of this project. Still so much more to discover!
Jamie Hay (3 years ago)
Some well preserved floor mosaics, in situ. Interesting subject matter of kitchen utensils etc, which I can't recall seeing much elsewhere. It's free and has good signage.
Jim Wilde (4 years ago)
Superb presentation of mosaics in a well presented form. A local guide was on hand to answer questions. Signage inside is good and there is a walkway enabling you to get very close to the works. Check the opening times as it's not open all day. Well worth a visit and surprising to see it in this location. There are a couple of other worthwhile visits within walking distance.
chris tian (5 years ago)
Even the Romans had villas here....maybe not so many ;)
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