Located in Baena, the Torreparedones Archaeological Park, also known as Torre de las Vírgenes and Castro el Viejo, is one of the most important archaeological places in the province of Cordoba from an archaeological viewpoint. Since the Modern Age it has been known for the casual appearance of notable remains that reflect the category it once had in antiquity.
It is located in the heart the Cordoba countryside and is part of the municipal districts of Baena and Castro del Río. It also has a visitor reception centre and a large car park.
The site was inhabited from the end of the Neolithic era until the beginning of the 16th century, reaching its maximum splendour in Iberian and Roman times, when it obtained the status of colony or municipal district. The most significant finds date from these times.
The most significant elements which the site provides these days are Roman buildings like the East door with a road in perfect condition, the forum and adjacent buildings, spas and the market, the medieval castle, a 16th century chapel, the necropolis with underground tombs and the Iberian-Roman sanctuary located to the South, outside the walls, where hundreds of votive offerings have been sculpted in stone, and where the faithful deposited their offerings for several centuries dedicated to the god which was worshipped there: Dea Caelestis.
The chance discovery of the so-called “Mausoleum of the Pompeyos”, in 1833, a monumental tomb containing the incinerated remains of 12 people from the same family, with their names etched in stone urns, was a landmark in the history of the site because it drew the attention of numerous national and foreign researchers.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.