Ategua is an Ibero-Roman fortified settlement with substantial archaeological remains stretching into the Middle Ages. Ategua was a great city that already existed from the third millennium BCE on, its wall was erected over a plateau that allowed it to control the whole horizon.

The oldest documented archaeological finds at Ategua date from the Late Bronze Age, after which archaeologists have recorded a more or less unbroken stratigraphic sequence up to the 14th century BCE. From the 9th century BCE it was used as a pre-colonial cremation necropolis, and roughly 150 years after thecemetery was abandoned humans established an urban centre on this site,with orthogonal-plan dwellings defended by an outer wall, which remained in use until the 7th century BCE.

The army of Roman Julius Ceaser conquered Ategua in 45 BCE. After that victory, Caesar continued his successfulmilitary campaign across Hispania, vanquishing the supportersof Pompey’s sons at the Battle of Munda and subsequentlyreturning to Rome in triumph.

A group of buildings known as domus provide evidence of urban residential architecture in Roman Ategua. The group includesseveral modest houses built around courtyards with water tanks or wells.

Given its strategic position at a crossroads vital to the defence of Córdoba, the hilltop was occupied by a castle during the final years of Muslim rule. The castle, with an irregular polygonal plan following the contours of the terrain, had a total of 9 towers and two gates. One of these gates was set into the north walland reinforced, in the modern era, with an octagonal tower. The other, directly opposite, faced south and was flanked by two square towers. The castle also had a bastion jutting out from the northwest corner.

This military structure was maintained throughout the late Middle Ages, and over time a population centre grew up around it, but the hilltop was definitively abandoned sometime in the 14th or 15th century. The rectangular building at the southwest corner outside the castle wall was built during the Christian era, in the 13th or 14th century, and the typical market-stall layout leaves no doubt as to its commercial purpose.



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Córdoba, Spain
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Founded: 3000-2000 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Spain

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User Reviews

Tere Mesas (4 months ago)
I find it very interesting, as soon as I can I will visit it. I think it would be appropriate for tourism to do guided tours.
Tony L. Requena (4 months ago)
Can not enter
ClÁsico (7 months ago)
If you want to know something more, continue reading: Its privileged enclave, on a great flat hill with granite rim, allows you to dominate a wide panorama. The area is well supplied with water and is made up of a set of hills and peaks that alternate with plains and fertile orchards and meadows, watered by the Guadajoz River, the flumen salsum mentioned by Bellum Hispaniense. Perhaps the main point of water supply to the city was the so-called "Fuente de Teba", located in a reed bed on the northwestern slope of the hill. The steepest profiles of the Ategua hill are those to the north and east; The most accessible ones, the south and the west, are also the closest to the Guadajoz riverbed, which runs less than a kilometer, but even at these points there are granite outcrops that protect the archaeological site. Ategua is known mainly for the role it played in the civil wars between Pompeians and Caesarians, which ended with the capture of the city by Caesar's army in 45 BC. The site preserves structures from the various eras through which it has passed, such as the Iberian-Roman wall, Roman houses, cisterns and temple, fortress and Islamic souk, in a clear example of overlapping historical cities. The oldest construction remains of Ategua belong to the Iberian-Roman fortification, which defends the entire top of the hill and part of the slopes. On the southwest side, the wall, 0.80 meters wide and built on a granite edge, is complemented by another line of fortification located a hundred meters below; the latter, which remains buried and was located by Antonio Blanco, is more consistent, 1.70 meters thick and is, like the first, made of masonry. The wall can be traced, both by the topography of the terrain and by the isolated outcrops of canvases, in almost the entire Iberian urban perimeter. On the west side, the construction runs approximately at elevation 250. In this sector, the one with the steepest slope, a very thick stretch of canvas is visible and made with large masonry. The wall describes a progressive ascent path to the north, until reaching its maximum elevation to the east of 290 meters. This is the best preserved sector, where canvases up to 3 meters high can be admired in a complicated large-scale military organization. The construction of the walls was made with granite stone from the area. The building technique is based on the use of stones and irregular slabs placed in horizontal rows on two parallel faces and on filling the interior space with stones and earth. In the corners and in the foundations, larger stones were chosen, carved as ashlars. At some points on the slope, the granite outcrop was used as a quarry, as can be seen in the notches, although it is not possible to determine the chronology of this activity. On the west slope, one of the city's water supply points is preserved, the so-called "Fuente de Teba". It is a round pool made of ashlar masonry and with lead pipes. Other visible remains of the city belong to Roman times and are located in the upper area of ​​the hill, to the east, on the acropolis. Some hydraulic constructions are recognizable in the eastern sector: a small round cistern and a square one, lined with opus signinum. There are other oval cisterns distributed outside the Islamic enclosure that seem to have been used until that time. If you liked it, please like it, thank you. Sources IAPH, Córdoba-pedia, and
Miguel Porcuna (11 months ago)
An essential and unique place to learn a little more about the history of Córdoba.
Luis de Olmedo Gordillo (23 months ago)
Guided tours very instructive. Great to go with the family on the weekend. Thank you for carrying out the works that keep the secrets of history alive. We will be back!!
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