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The Roman Ruins of Conímbriga - Ruin Coimbra - Portugal

Located about 10 miles (16 km) from Coimbra, the ruined Roman town of Conímbriga is one of Portugal’s best preserved and restored Roman sites. Archaeologists believe that it was settled long before the arrival of the Romans, in approximately 100 A.D. It was quickly assimilated into the Empire, but when the Empire declined, so did Conímbriga, and in the 5th century, it was sacked on more than one occasion by roving barbarians. By the 8th century, it was abandoned.

The ruins complex is large and quite impressive. There is a ruined nobleman’s villa, complete with intricate tiles, baths and a heating system, as well as temples, an early church, a forum, a theater and more. The most interesting part is the tiles; look for the mosaic of Perseus holding Medusa’s head.

There is a good museum at the site, which is full of information about Conímbriga and which features statues (and bits of statues), tools, coins, relics, pottery and other interesting archaeological finds dug up at the site over the years.

Plan on about an hour or so to wander around the site, and then be sure to budget about 45 minutes to see the museum. There is a restaurant attached to the museum and very small gift shop, and also a small stand inside the park offering bottled water and ice cream bars, both of which will be extremely welcome after some time in the Portuguese sun!

The ruins were declared a national monument in 1910, and have been open to the public since 1930. They were also nominated in early 2007 as one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal, but did not win.

Most people who come to the ruins do so either on a tour bus or as a day trip from nearby Coimbra. The nearest town to the ruins is tiny Condeixa-a-Nova; there is a small pousada there if you want to be closer to the site.

Coimbra, Portugal


Getting There

Buses go regularly from Coimbra to Condeixa-a-Nova, and you can walk or take a taxi from there. If you have a car, it's easy to find on a map.

Travel Tips:

The ruins can get very hot on a sunny day; bring water or a bit of cash for a cool drink at the on-site snack bar

Price Description:

€3 Admission

Relative price: Budget

Open Hours from:October to May 10 a.m., June to September 9 a.m.

Open Hours to:October to May 6 p.m., June to September 8 p.m.

Days Closed:Mondays

Contact Information:
URL: www.conimbriga.pt/index_en.html

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
30 Jun 2010

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