The Roman Empire

Romanization of Gallaecia – Roman province of the northwestern area of the Iberian peninsula – ran from the late 1st century BC – date of the conquest of that area of the Empire – until the early 5th century AD.

Among the heritage that they left behind are:

Military encampments: fortified spaces with a square ground plan designed to quarter Roman troops with a grid layout of streets that met in the “praetorium” – headquarters of the encampment located in the place with best visibility.

Roman roads: The Roman road system included main roads, secondary roads, private roads and also roads in villages. During the conquest its purpose was military, afterwards to achieve the political and administrative control of the newly conquered territories, and later to carry out their economic exploitation.

Its most important features were:

1.“mansiones” (traveler inns): accommodation establishments, where travelers could eat, sleep, enjoy thermal waters and get what they needed to continue their journey.

2.“mutationes” (changing stations): changing stations where travelers could change horse. Located along the road these premises ensured mail service, the speed of messengers, the transit of troops, of civil servants, and of all the travelers.

3.milestones: big cylindrical stones placed along the road that showed the distance in Roman miles to the city where the road originated. There was a milestone at every mile -1000 steps.

4.bridges: they allowed the road to run over rivers.

5.funerary stelae: large stone slabs with an inscription at the bottom part and with complex decoration with funerary symbolism at the upper part.

6.votive altars: Altars usually devoted to “Lares” of roads – Roman road gods that actually conceal the cult of indigenous deities.

Roman road XVIII (Via Nova: The New Way) – a main road – linked Bracara Augusta (present-day Braga in Portugal) and Asturica Augusta (present-day Astorga in Spain) – important centers from a socioeconomic point of view within the northwestern area of the Iberian peninsula – with the intention of controlling the territory to the south of Gallaecia and to bring goods and minerals exploited by Romans to the market – this area of the peninsula was one of the main suppliers of gold to the Roman Empire: the “Médulas”, etc..; as well as to secure the “Official Mail Service” – in only two days mail would travel from Bracara Augusta to Asturica Augusta -; and to allow the deployment of civil servants and military detachments. Also private persons, merchants, magistrates, etc. used them.
Video about the Via Nova

Main roads – meant for long journeys – like Roman road XVIII connected to secondary roads. A secondary road of the Via Nova ran from Aquis Querquennis (Bande) to Lucus Augusti (present-day Lugo), via Auriense (present-day Ourense).

With its 218 miles (ca. 325 kms.) the Via Nova is one of the best preserved Roaman roads.

Unlike other Roman roads it has bridges (over rivers Limia, Arnoia, Sil, and Bibei) some of which have not been modified since Roman times.

It’s one of the Roman roads in Europe with the highest number of milestones: 281.

Within the province of Ourense it runs through the Spanish section of the Gerês-Xurés Transborder Biosphere Reserve and the Serra da Enciña da Lastra National Park.

This road was opened in 79 AD and it was used during all the Empire and even later – during the Middle Ages.

ARCHITECTURE

TABULA DE CASTROMAO
TABULA FROM CASTROMAO
(Celanova)

  • It dates back to the year 132 AD.
  • It’s located in “Plaza de Cervantes / das Pitas” (Cervantes / Pitas Square).
  • It’s a rectangular bronze plate regarding a treaty of friendship on equal footing between the Romans and the Coelerni – the inhabitants of Coeliobriga, the “castro” in Castromao.
  • It allows us to know that the “castro” in Castromao (Celanova) was Coeliobriga – the capital of the Coelerni.
  • It was unearthed in 1970 during the excavations carried out at the archeological site of Castromao.
  • It’s a copy of the original.

 

 

MILIARIO DE VILANOVA DOS INFANTES
MILESTONE AT VILANOVA DOS INFANTES
(Celanova (Vilanova dos Infantes))

 

ARA VOTIVA DE VILANOVA DOS INFANTES
VOTIVE ALTAR AT VILANOVA DOS INFANTES
(Celanova (Vilanova dos Infantes))

  • It’s embedded horizontally into the façade of a house located at the main square of Vilanova dos
  • It’s devoted to the “Lares Gumeinu”. It states: “M(arcus) Licinius / Veleiensis / Laribus / Gumeinu /v(otum) s(olvit) / l(ibens) m(erito)”.
    Ara votiva de Vilanova dos Infantes

 

PONTE ROMANA DO FREIXO
ROMAN BRIDGE AT FREIXO
(Celanova (Freixo))

BIC*: National Historical Monument since 1984

  • It dates back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.
  • It’s one of the few Roman constructions that has undergone no subsequent modifications.
  • This bridge over river Arnoia was part of a secondary road of Roman road XVIII (Via Nova).
    Ponte romana do Freixo
    Video

 

CAMPAMENTO ROMANO E MANSIO DE AQUIS QUERQUENNIS
AQUIS QUERQUENNIS ROMAN ENCAMPMENT AND “MANSIO”
(Bande (Porto Quintela))

 

PONTE ROMANA DE PONTEPEDRIÑA
ROMAN BRIDGE AT PONTEPEDRIÑA
(Bande (Porto Quintela))

BIC*: National Historical Monument since 1944

  • It’s one of the few Roman constructions that has undergone no subsequent modifications.
  • It can only be visited in summer when it’s not below water level.

 

MANSIO VIARIA OS COVELOS
OS COVELOS “MANSIO”
(Lobios (Ríocaldo))

  • It dates back to the 1rst and 4th centuries AD.
  • It is believed to have been the “mansio” Aquis Originis of Roman road XVIII.
  • It’s on mile XXXIX: it would be the first “mansio” within the province of Ourense.
  • The remains of the villa are made up by several premises: an upper class residence with heating (hypocaust) and kitchen.
    Mansio viaria Os Covelos (Aguis Originis)
    Video (from min 6:51 to min 7:32)

 

MILIARIOS E CALZADA ROMANA
MILESTONES AND ROMAN ROAD
(Lobios (Portela de Home))

  • Here is to be found the largest concentration of Roman milestones in Galicia: 8 milestones.
  • There are several theories of why there are so many here: it could be what is left of a quarry and on site workshop by the road, or they were taken and put here together.
  • Here we can see a restored section of the Via Nova.
    Miliarios de Portela de Home

 

MUSEUMS / EXHIBITIONS

TORRE DA HOMENAXE
KEEP
(Celanova (Vilanova dos Infantes))

  • On the first floor it houses a scale model of the “Terra de Celanova” district with its landmarks, among which is the Roman bridge in Freixo.
  • On the second floor there’s an exhibition about the history of “Terra de Celanova” including that of Roman times – a picture of the Tabula from Castromao.

 

 

MUSEO ARQUEOLÓXICO PROVINCIAL DE OURENSE
PROVINCIAL ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF OURENSE
(Ourense)

 

MUSEO NUMISMÁTICO
NUMISMATIC MUSEUM
(Lobios)

 

HIKING TRAILS

CAMIÑO NATURAL VIA NOVA
VIA NOVA NATURAL PATH
Camiño Natural Via Nova

ROTEIRO DA CORGA DE FECHA
SMALL WATERFALL GULLY TRAIL
Roteiro da Corga da Fecha

MBT TRAIL

R6-Ruta VIA NOVA
R6- VIA NOVA TRAIL
Ruta Via Nova

FESTIVAL

FESTA DO ESQUECEMENTO
FESTIVAL OF FORGETFULNESS
(Xinzo de Limia)

Date: the second last weekend in August.

  • It’s a historical re-enactment of the moment of the campaign of conquest of the northwestern region of the Iberian peninsula in 135 BC, when the Romans crossed river Limia. Roman soldiers mistakenly thought that it was river Lethe – the river of forgetfulness (“esquecemento” in Galician). They thought that if they crossed the river they would experience complete forgetfulness. Consul Decimus Junius Brutus crossed the river first and, in order to prove to his soldiers that he had not experienced forgetfulness, he started calling them one by one by their names, and that way he managed to continue his campaign of conquest, defeating the Gallaeci: since then he was called Decimus Junius Brutus Gallaecus.
  • Apart from the re-enactment of the crossing of river Limia there are other enactments related to the history and culture of the “castro” culture and that of Rome: a battle between the “castro” population and the Romans, dancing, a Roman market, Roman banquets, parade of legions, gladiatorial games, quadriga races, etc…)
    Festa do Esquecemento
    Video

 

*BIC (Bien de interés cultural) – “Heritage of Cultural Interest” – applies to classified heritage in Spain.

©2019 HOTEL CELANOVA - Diseñado por AVIRATO

Uso de cookies

Este sitio web utiliza cookies para que usted tenga la mejor experiencia de usuario. Si continúa navegando está dando su consentimiento para la aceptación de las mencionadas cookies y la aceptación de nuestra política de cookies, pinche el enlace para mayor información. ACEPTAR

Aviso de cookies
error: Content is protected !!

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?