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Itálica, the Roman city of Seville Hotel Gravina 51

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Itálica, the Roman city of Seville

The city of Itálica is a must visit during your stay in Seville. Located within walking distance of this, only 7 km, it will surprise visitors both by the quality of what is conserved and by the magnitude of the city . The city was founded in 206 b.c. by Publius Cornelius Scipio, the African, as a place to recover wounded troops as well as a place of residence for their war veterans. It was the place of origin of the emperors Trajano and Adriano.


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Itálica was the first Roman city founded in Spain, denominated at that time as Hispania, and also outside Italian territory. After the Second Punic War in Hispania, Publio Cornelio Escipión the African settled the wounded soldiers in a city next to the river Baetis, currently the river Guadalquivir.

The city reached its peak period at the end of the 1st century and during the 2nd century , since the reigns of Trajano and Adriano, both born in Italica, which would greatly reinforce the undoubted prestige that the Hispanic colony already had in Rome. Both emperors, who undoubtedly largely owed their rise to the throne to the important Hispanic pressure group existing in the Roman Senate, were generous to their hometown, expanding it and boosting its economy.

Adriano embellished it with excellent public buildings extending the city to the north. This is the part of the city that currently constitutes the Archaeological Complex of Italica , without parallel streets because of its huge paved mansions of mosaics, or its great and very shattered amphitheatre, quarter of the Empire by its capacity. The “old city” or Vetus Urbs is located under the urban centre of the current town of Santiponce. This part of the city had the most continuity, reaching until the time of the Muslim occupation when it took place, in the tenth century, its depopulation and definitive abandonment.

What to see in the Archaeological Complex of Itálica

The amphitheater



With a capacity of 25.000 spectators, it was one of the largest amphitheaters of the empire with three levels of grandstands. Below the level of the ancient wooden floor of the amphitheatre there is a service pit for the different shows of gladiators and beasts.


The theatre



The theatre is the oldest known civil work in Italy. It was built between the 1st century B.C. and I. C., and its use lasted until at least the 5th century, more or less like in the rest of Hispania, being possibly the main cause of its abandonment the disinterest of the local elites that financed it.


The thermal baths



Itálica had at least two thermal complexes of public character, one in the old city and another in the new city, both with hot water pools (caldarium), temperate (tepidarium) and cold (frigidarium), Sudatory (laconicum) and perhaps palaestrae of exercise, as was the custom, which fully satisfied the romanesque population. The hot springs of the old city are popularly known as “Minors” or “de Trajano”, and are visited within the village. The hot springs of the new city are called “Elders” or “of the Mora Queen”, occupying the extension of a whole block.


The houses



In the splendor of Adriano’s Italica, new houses of important and rich local families were built in the city, some of which would be senatorial, in addition to following the traditional scheme of the Roman house, with an inner courtyard from which the patios of the Andalusian houses would later derive, possessed the aesthetic ethics of the period.

Among the houses of Itálica we can emphasize the following: Casa de la exedra, Casa de Neptuno, Casa del patio rodio, Casa de Hylas, Casa de los Pájaros and Casa del Planetario.


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