Cindy's and Kevin's Visit to Spain, 2009
Italica
previous: The Alhambra

Friday's excursion was to the Roman Ruins at Italica. Just outside of Seville, is a site that holds the foundations of a small city, as well as the ruins of a stadium. The city had been inhabited from around 200 BCE to the second century. Excavations and efforts to preserve it are ongoing.

This coliseum orginally had three levels and could seat 20,000 to 25,000 people. The top level has disappeared. What a thrill to stand in this ancient place, built about 2000 years ago!

The hole in the center of the arena was sometimes filled with water for water sports. Other times, they put a floor over it for the gladiator games.

All the exposed surfaces were made of big stone blocks, and all the structure inside was rocks and mortar. That mortar was relatively fragile, and much of the coliseum was in ruins.

This is a tunnel leading to the second level of seating.

The space you see on the far end, between the seating, was the "Death Gate". That is where they carried out the bodies of the gladiators.

These stairs used to lead up to the third level.

An example of a sewer drain, near the front entrance.

The wide passage that led into the arena held stalls for people selling their wares. This design scratched into the pavement was probably for a game.

This is the tunnel where the gladiators walked. It was thrilling to imagine the fighters walking along this very same tunnel where we stood, possibly going to their deaths.

Up the hill from the coliseum was an area that held homes and shops. Only the outlines of the foundations remain. We could see where the bakery was, with its oven. Across the way was the public bath. The roads were in an organized grid, paved with wide flat stones.

Many of the homes had gorgeous mosaic floors. The artwork was exquisite! They almost look like rugs. It was amazing to see them in such beautiful shape after all this time. This floor depicts the gods for which the days of the week were named. The next picture shows a detailed close up of Venus.

Venus

This was a fun section of floor. In the middle, in color, was Neptune. He was astride a great beast, but that part of the mosaic had deteriorated, for some reason. He was surrounded by sea monsters.

In the border was a battle between people and various creatures. Do you see how one guy is defending himself against the crocodile? Or maybe he was just very scared!

Beautiful birds! The colors are still so vivid.

This is the sewer system that runs under the city.

Here are Manolo, Cyn and Donna standing two thousand year old pavement.

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