Empuries Archaeological Site, Empuries Ruins, Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain

Empuries Archaeological Site

Empuries Ruins, Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain

Empuries Archaeological Site

The Empuries archaeological site is of great importance historically as it is one of the best examples of an ancient Greek & Roman trading settlement rolled into one.

It was founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC. Used principally as a trading outpost its name was derived from the Greek word for market-place; Emporion. Over the years Empuries grew in importance, expanding & rapidly becoming one of the ancient world's major Mediterranean trading towns. The location of the site was well chosen, as it was crossed by several trade routes, positioned at the mouth of the Fluvia river, & it's bay offered protection from winds & currents.

At around 218BC the Romans landed under the command of general Gnaeus Scipio marking the start of the 2nd Punic war against Carthage. They too favoured the site at Empuries & rather than demolish it instead added a much larger residential area to it's rear; & of course re-naming the site Emporiae. This was initially used to house veterans, with the port area bringing in supplies. Though as time went by it expanded still, commercial outlets opened, & even an amphitheater was built. Eventually the town lost its importance, this was largely due to the success of nearby Tarragona & Girona.

Today the site at Empuries is in ruins, but there is still much to see & learn here. Another attraction is the medieval town of St. Marti d'Empuries, which is actually built ontop of part of the still buried section of the site. St. Marti is well restored, attractive, & a great place to go for lunch.

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Empuries Archaeological Site, Empuries Ruins, Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain

 

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