Costa Tropical, Andalucia
If you ever visit Spain, you must make it a point to visit Andalucía, perhaps the most varied and exciting region in the country! The geography of this region is expansive as well as offers tremendous range from the Sierra Morena to the Sierra Nevada to the Mediterranean – you get snow, water, and plains.
Culturally too, Andalucía is no different. With a mindboggling array of art and architecture (showing definite influence of Islam and Christianity), the region is a true reflection of Spain’s history. The Moors captured Spain in 711 AD and stayed here for almost eight hundred years. After the Moors came the turn of the Mighty Roman Empire, remains of their reign are still prevalent in most ramparts of the country.
The Roman Period
The Roman Empire chose to settle all over the Costa Tropical region as well as just outside Sevilla and named that town Italica. If you travel to about 10 km from Sevilla, you’d still be able to see the remains of Italica. The Romans developed Italica and constructed some major structure there including an Amphitheatre that could, back then, seat 25,000 people! Italica has several such examples of Roman mastery over brick and mortar and these include 3 houses De Exedra, Los Pjaros and Hylas with striking mosaic work. The town of Italica is also the birthplace of two Roman Kings – Trajan and Hadrian.
The Andalucian region including Costa Tropical was the domain of the Roman Empire. In 49 BC, Julius Ceaser changed the name of Italica to Hispalis, which garnered the status of an official colony of the empire. Hispalis is also significant in history as it was one of the most important centers of Rome besides being the hub of Christian movement in the Iberian Peninsula. Furthermore, beginning of the 4th century witnessed several invasions in the Andalucian, and Sevilla regions by various tribes. In the next 100 years, the demise of the Roman Empire slowly took place and by start of 5th century the Roman Empire has lost all control over Spain and Visigoths took over. Thus began a period of tranquility and further development in Sevilla.
Work of the Romans in the Costa Tropical
Though primarily Moorish, the architectural heritage of the Andalusian region does show influences from Roman mastery over construction. Some of the more important Roman ruins include Baelo Claudia, Ronda la Vieja, as well as the necropolis at Carmona. The Romans need to be given credit for introducing the inner patio to Andalucia that was later adopted by the Moors as well.
Just a few miles north of Sevilla lies a village called Santiponce that is home to one of the most wonderful and largest Roman ruins in all of Spain. The remains of the historical city of Italica that offers all people a chance to witness the marvels of the Roman architecture, mosaic work, and town planning.
When in Spain, make it a point to not just visit the beautiful Costa Tropical region but also stop by to pay tribute to the vision and mastery of the Romans over science and arts.
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