The Roman ruins of Ammaia


In the North of the Alentejo region, near Marvão, to be more precise, you can visit the ruins of what used to be the Roman city of Ammaia.

Although there were records mentioning an old city with that name it was only in the 1930’s that the real location of Ammaia became clear.


There were legends about it, of course. The local folklore spoke of an ancient city which had been swallowed by the ground during an earthquake – this same city, they believed, was almost intact and was filled with riches, but could only be found many meters below the surface.

This piece of old Lusitania, once rich in minerals like quartz and gold, was declared a National Monument in 1949.


Today you can visit the ruins and the exhibit, which shows some objects found in the excavations, including many things belonging to the daily life of the inhabitants. Actually, you can even buy replicas of the clay oil lamps found at the site! I brought the one with the naughty drawing! 😀


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  1. I spent the summer of 1966 in Lisbon, but I confess I’ve never heard of the Roman city of Ammaia till now. If I ever make it back to Portugal, I’ll try to check out those ruins.

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