top of page
  • Writer's pictureCarlos

The city in the sands

The beach near the ruins
The beach near the ruins

Baelo Claudia was a Roman city in southern Spain, 22 kilometres from Tarifa and close to the village of Bolonia, located near the Strait of Gibraltar.

In the late 2nd century BC, it was founded as a tuna fishing, salting, and garum producer. It was situated on the south coast of Spain, near the Strait of Gibraltar.

Its economy stemmed from tuna fishing, salting, and the production of garum. The town was a municipium in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD.

Aqueduct of Baelo Claudia by Rodelar

Despite the fact that a major earthquake destroyed most of the city in the 2nd century and it went into decline, the 3rd century was a tumultous period for the town. It was attacked by Germanic and Barbary pirates. Despite the fact that a brief resurgence occurred in the later part of the century, the town was deserted by the 6th century.

Excavations in the area uncovered the most extensive Roman town remains on the Iberian Peninsula, with fascinating monuments such as the basilica, theatre, market, and temple of Isis.

The site has provided a wide variety of information about the Roman town, including a basilica, a theatre, a market, and a temple to Isis.

City Theater
City Theater by Falconaumanni

The town is split into two Roman roads: the decumanus maximus, which runs east to west and has entrances at the two ends, and the cardo maximus, which runs north to south.

The forum is located in the middle of the two roads, and its original slabs from Tarifa have been preserved since the 1st century.

General view of the City
General view of the City

In the centre of the forum is the basilica, which is the most noticeable building in the city. In addition to public buildings, there are also small stone structures that likely served as shops, or tabernae.

The site preserves stone walls, watchtowers, gates, administrative buildings, a forum, a courthouse, temples, a theatre, market, tabernae, aqueducts, and a sewer system.

It is the most extensive Roman site in the Iberian Peninsula and the view of the coast of Morocco from the site is stunning.

View of Bolonia
View of Bolonia


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page