Mérida is sometimes called the Spanish Rome. The name is associated with the huge amount of ancient monuments that can be seen in the city. The archaeological site of Merida has been on the UNESCO heritage list since 1993.
In the 1st century BC, the area of today's Extremadura, of which Mérida is the capital, was part of the Roman province of Lusitania. It was then that the Romans founded the city of Augusta Emerita for retired soldiers fighting in the wars on the Iberian Peninsula. In a short time, temples, thermal baths, theaters, magnificent villas and all economic facilities were built here. The fall of the city came with the end of the glory of Rome.
Today, the Mérida archaeological site is one of the largest and most valuable in Spain. Its pearls are the Roman Theater, the Temple of Diana, the Amphitheater, the Arch of Trajan, the Roman Bridge and the Miracle Aqueduct. The building was built of bricks and stone blocks and was about 25 meters high and led the water to the city from a distance of 12 km. In order to preserve the Roman heritage and its proper exposure, the National Museum of Roman Art was established in Merida.
However, Mérida is not only about ancient monuments. On the bank of the Guadiana you can see the massive silhouette of the Alcazaba - an Arab stronghold from the first half of the 9th century. There are also interesting Romanesque and Gothic churches, such as the Church of St. Eulalia and the Co-Cathedral in Merida.