The city of Baelo Claudia is an archaeological site from the Roman era which is located in the province of Cádiz, near Tarifa. A must see if you are a history lover. Let's know more about him. Can you come with us?
The foundation of Baelo ClaudiaBaelo Claudia
The foundation of Baelo Claudia takes place in the second century B.C., during the time of the Republic. It is located in the so-called Bologna Cove, a strategic space for trade with Africa and a place of great marine wealth. Therefore, we speak of a city in which an important fish-related industry developed.
At the time of Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD) this city acquired the status of municipality and continued to flourish until the middle of the second century A.D. In that century, it seems that the city suffered a progressive decline due to an earthquake and perhaps tsunami that ravaged it. Until finally, It was definitively abandoned in the 7th century A.D.
After many years of forgetting, The city was discovered at the beginning of the 20th century by the French hispanist Pierre Paris. Due to its importance it was declared a Tourist Interest Property and in recent years it has been valued for its conservation and tourist visit.
Visit to Archaeological Ensemble of Baelo Claudia
The visit to Baelo Claudia consists of two parts. The first is the entrance to the Visitor Reception Center and Museum, while the second is the city of Baelo Claudia itself. A) Yes, the center is a building open since 2007 in which numerous pieces of the site are shown.
Further, It shows us an overview of how the city should have been in its era of maximum splendor from the religious, social, economic and architectural point of view. Also, in this building we can find a specialized library in the classical Roman world.
The depositBaelo Claudia
The site is accessed by a walk that will take us to this city by the sea. From the upper area, where the remains of one of the three aqueducts that the city had, are located, we will have stunning views of the Bay of Bologna.
The city, which was walled, had multiple towers and monumental access doors. Of them, the Carteia door, the Gades door and the Asido door have been preserved.
Around the forum we find the main buildings, highlighting the basilica. It is a two-storey building in which justice was administered and was chaired by a colossal-sized sculpture that represented the Emperor Trajan and is now preserved in the Museum of Cádiz.
Also, in this forum there was a marble fountain. As well here was the access to three temples dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva and a temple dedicated to Isis, goddess of fertility whose cult was widespread among women. Stores or taverns, in addition to other buildings, they completed the facades of the forum.
Further, by the door of Gades were some important hot springs. A theater and an important market with ten stores inside and four outside completed the set of public buildings in the city.
The garum and salting as a development engineGarum factory in Baelo Claudia
The great economic and social development of Baelo Claudia was due to its important fish salting industry. But, above all, to the production of the sauce garum, much demanded by the people and that was exported to all the provinces of the Roman Empire.
It is a sauce made based on fish offal and that in Baelo Claudia it was mainly made of tuna from almadraba. Thus, small fish were mixed with other older viscera such as tuna and put in salted sun next to aromatic herbs such as dill, good herb, fennel, etc.
A) Yes, In this city we find a salting factory. An architectural complex that has several areas, one of preparation and cleaning of the fish they received and another for salting them and preparing the garum. The pools that were used can still be seen in Baelo Claudia.
Tuna fishing took place between the months of May to September. And it was done with fixed nets very similar to those currently used in the fishing of traps in the area. And with that, the city and its industry were maintained since the second century B.C. until the third century A.D.