You'll Trip Right Over History If You Don't Watch Where You're Going


In Portugal, history is everywhere. It is, in fact, literally just below your feet in many spots.

In Braga, we happened upon a Roman bath in the underground car park for the train station. In Conimbriga, of course, an entire Roman city lay just below the top of a hill among farms.  In Viana do Castelo, the same was true for a Celtic settlement at the top of a hill.  In Evora, there was a Roman temple, beautifully preserved behind the walls of a slaughterhouse for centuries. In every major city there were castle walls and cathedrals from medieval times, and homes with foundations that went back many centuries.  

Among the most fascinating finds on our trip, was  ruins - going back nearly 2,500 years - found under the foundation of the Millennium BCP Bank in downtown Lisbon. While finding a few Roman artifacts is, apparently, no big deal - dig a hole in Lisbon and you'll hit an urn - finding extensive remnants of Celtic, Roman and Medieval civilizations all in one spot were. 

The site was used by the Romans as a center for preserving fish, salt was evaporated from sea water and then used to cure fish for long storage. The resulting ponds where the water was stored later provided fresh water for a medieval well.  The site also later served as an early Christian burial chamber.  

The basement of the bank is now home to  Núcleo Arqueológico da Rua dos Correeiros. Tours must be arranged in advance, but they're free!

  

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