The extraordinary Roman Museum of Mérida is located next to the site where the Roman Theater and Amphitheater of the capital of Extremadura are located.
In it we can see the main findings found in the different excavations of Mérida and it is a very unique building, the work of the great architect Rafael Moneo.
If you visit Mérida, after visiting the main Roman remains, you must visit this museum to understand the Roman history of Emérita Augusta.
The collection of the Roman Museum of Mérida
In the Roman Museum of Mérida we can currently find some 36,000 pieces found in what was Emérita Augusta, capital of Lusitania.
It is almost impossible to summarize in a few lines the main pieces that you must visit.
In the museum we can find sculptures, mosaics and objects of daily life.
Among the sculptures you should not miss the Aion-Chronos or the Augusto Velado, two of the museum’s great works of art.
We can also find one of the columns of the Temple of Diana and that is in a great state of conservation.
The statue of the Genius of the Senate and that of the Gypsy are other essential sculptures.
The visit is very easy to do. There is a large central corridor with different sculptures, friezes and mosaics with different rooms that open on one side with other works of Roman life.
On the upper floor we can see small objects that were part of the daily life of the Roman Empire. And we can also go down to the crypt where we can see the old Roman road, some popular houses and remains of the old wall.
History of the Museum and its building
The beautiful building that houses the collection, the work of Rafael Moneo, was inaugurated in 1986, although the institution of the Museum has several centuries of history.
In fact, it was in the 16th century that Fernando de Vera y Vargas began to exhibit some Roman objects in the palace where he lived.
Later, in the 18th century, some finds began to be exhibited in the Alcazaba of Mérida and in the current Parador, increasing considerably over time as new works of art were discovered.
Later, the collection was transferred to the Church of Santa Clara, reaching 3,000 pieces in 1929. After the Spanish Civil War, numerous excavations were carried out that made the building small, so they began to think about building one to house the collection.
Thus, in 1979 a competition was launched that was won by the Navarrese architect’s project with a building that wanted to recall ancient Roman constructions.
You can find more information on the official website of the Roman Museum of Mérida.