Photographer's Note


This is another posting using three scanned pictures from slides taken in 1985 with the Asahi Pentax Spotmatic F camera. Being scans, the pictures quality is not the best but I still would like to show you the beautiful Roman ruins we also have in Portugal, which I believe have not yet been profusely publicized on TE.

The ancient city of Conmbriga is not the largest Roman settlement in Portugal but it is certainly the best preserved. Located 16 km south of Coimbra, it is classified as a National Monument since 1910.
The name Conimbriga derives from an early pre-Indo-European element rocky height or outcrop and the Celtip briga, meaning a defended place.

During the Roman time, Conmbriga was located on the road between Olisipo (the actual Lisbon, capital city of Portugal) and Bracara Augusta (the actual Braga, city in northern Portugal).

The city walls are largely intact, and the mosaic floors and foundations of many houses and public buildings remain. In the baths, you can view the network of stone heating ducts beneath the now-missing floors. Archaeologists estimate that only 10 percent of the city has been excavated.

Like many archaeological sites, Conimbriga was built in layers. Some of the earliest layers date back to the first Iron Age in the 9th Century B.C. The Romans arrived in 139 B.C. and Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus was the general who lead the Roman legions in the conquest of western Iberia after the death of Viriathus, conquering the Celtic inhabitants and establishing a city that grew, flourished, and then fell victim to barbarian invasions until Conimbriga's residents fled to nearby Aeminium (actual city of Coimbra) in 468.

The archaeological evidence tells us that Conmbriga was inhabited, at least, between the 9th century BC and 7th / 8th century AD. When the Romans arrived, in the first half of the 2nd century BC, Conmbriga was a flourishing village. Thanks to the peace established in Lusitania, a quick Romanisation of the indigenous population took place and Conmbriga became a prosperous town. Following the deep political and administrative crisis of the Empire, Conmbriga suffered the consequences of the barbaric invasions. In 465 and 468, Sueves captured and partially plundered the town already abandoned by part of its population.

In the main posting you can see the peristyle area of the Repuxos House. Opulent villas were built around ornamental pools in superb colonnaded gardens, with its own bath complex and a sophisticated floor heating system. Fine mosaics, as seen in WS2, covered the floor of these houses.

WS1 is a general view of Conmbrigas South sector.

WS2 shows the mosaic on the floor in one of the houses.

For a virtual visit to Conmbriga please follow this link.

This photo taken in 2007 and courtesy of Ana Dores (adores) shows the Repuxos House as it can been seen today. A cover roof structure has been erected to protected the site from the weather.

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Additional Photos by Antonio Ribeiro (ribeiroantonio) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4806 W: 470 N: 6473] (22730)
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