Did you know that Castro of Monte Mozinho is the largest Roman castro in the Iberian Peninsula? Also called “The Dead City of Penafiel”, this set of ruins has an area of 20 hectares! The Castro of Monte Mozinho was founded between the end of the 1st century BC and the beginning of the 1st century AD, having been occupied until the 5th century. Most of the artifacts found during the excavations are displayed in the Municipal Museum of Penafiel and include jewelry, coins, ceramics, and statues!
The Ancient Agora of Athens is one of the most important sites in the history of Western civilization. This is because it was the administrative, economic, cultural, and social center of Athens and Ancient Greece! Located northwest of the Acropolis of Athens, the Ancient Agora of Athens comprised several dozen structures and public buildings. Unfortunately, almost all are in ruins these days. But that doesn’t take away from the Ancient Agora of Athens the prestige and relevance of the past!
The Villa Cardillio is an archaeological site located 5 km from Torres Novas. The open-air museum is not very well known by tourists, but as I am fascinated by Ancient Civilizations, I couldn’t miss visiting these Roman ruins! The excavations of Villa Cardillio began in 1962. Since then, foundations, floors, and columns belonging to a Roman country house have been discovered. In addition, archaeologists found artifacts, which are on display at the Carlos Reis Municipal Museum!
The Roman Forum (or Foro Romano) was the commercial, political, administrative, judicial, and religious center of Ancient Rome. And the Palatine Hill, one of the 7 hills of the Italian capital, was the place chosen by the Roman emperors to install their palaces. Dozens of houses and monuments were built in a 2-hectare area, in addition to other buildings and public structures. And, nowadays, these ruins make the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill one of the largest archaeological complexes in Europe!
The Colosseum (or Flavian Amphitheater) is the most visited monument in Italy and a true icon of this country. Elected one of the “New 7 Wonders of the World”, this oval amphitheater is also a masterpiece of architecture and a symbol of the Roman Empire. The Colosseum was built in the 1st century AD, to host great public shows (such as gladiator games and animal hunts). Located in the largest archaeological complex of Ancient Rome, it’s still the largest amphitheater in the world!
Idanha-a-Velha is one of the main archaeological stations of the Iberian Peninsula and one of the 12 Historical Villages of Portugal (a program created in 1991 to restore a series of villages older than the country itself). Of Roman foundation, Idanha-a-Velha was occupied by Suevi, Visigoths, and Muslims, before becoming part of the Kingdom of Portugal. Currently, it’s one of the smallest villages on this route and the perfect place to explore the traces left by all these people!
The Cemetery of Kerameikos is a unique archaeological site in Greece, as it has served as the Greek capital’s cemetery for over 1500 years! The place owes its name to the Greek hero Ceramus, as well as to the ancient potters’ quarter that used to exist here since “kerameikos” means “ceramic” in Greek. Today, the Cemetery of Kerameikos is a complex comprising an open-air archaeological park and a museum, where tombstones and funerary sculptures found during excavations are displayed!
The Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens is an ancient Greek architectural masterpiece. Also known as Olympieion, this temple was built between the 6th century BC and the 2nd century AD, to honor Zeus (the king of the gods of Olympus). Located southeast of the iconic Acropolis of Athens, the Temple of Olympian Zeus is a monument in ruins, of which only sixteen columns remain. But it was once considered one of the largest and most famous Greek temples in Classical Antiquity!
The Acropolis of Athens is one of the most important sites in the history of Western civilization. And although there are other acropolis spread across Greece, the Acropolis of Athens is the most famous in the world. The ancient citadel is located on a rocky plateau in the heart of Athens and is home to the ruins of many classical monuments, of indisputable architectural value. So save this guide of Ancient Greece’s “high city”, which evokes the fascinating mythology of this nation!