A History of a Holiday in Fifteen Trees – Eleven

Zigzagging my way into Zaragoza’s old city centre, I came across, ahead of me, a glass canopy. A market perhaps? But no. It covered Caesar Augustus’ Roman Amphitheatre. I could inspect it quite well from the street, but on a whim, decided to pay the entrance fee and go in. ‘I’ve decided to take your word for it that you’re over 65’, the chivalrous man at the desk said. ‘It’s free for you’.

I was so glad I went. I discovered that this theatre was only relatively recently excavated. It was designed during the 1st century CE for an audience of 6,000 people (in a city of 18,000) and remained in use for some 200 years. When the Romans left, firstly the Moors covered over the site to provide extra housing space in the crowded city centre. Later, it became a Jewish quarter, and when the Jews were expelled in the 14th century, Christians moved in. And so it was until the late twentieth century. I didn’t quite understand why it had become possible to uncover and excavate this site in the 1970s. But I enjoyed exploring, and took pleasure in the unusual distorted views of it provided by the glass windows of the museum which explained the amphitheatre’s history.

Trees and the amphitheatre distorted in the museum windows.

Old meets new beyond the amphitheatre

Tree Squares

Monday Window

Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

33 thoughts on “A History of a Holiday in Fifteen Trees – Eleven”

  1. Fascinating! And a window into history as well.
    Oh, since you invited me along, just tell ticket folks that you have an octogenarian with you, they should give you a break, or at least a strange look. 😉 Thank you!

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  2. That’s fascinating and a beautiful example of how to integrate the stuff of ancient history with a modern city using contemporary architecture and materials. The distorted reflections are particularly intriguing. So pleased you decided to take a closer look to share with the rest of us.

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    1. It was beautifully done. I could have gone for the full-scale lecture, as I learnt a lot ( it did wonders for my Spanish too – not everything was translated)

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      1. Nah I want us to find an amphitheatre like this, preferably in Winchester that way the council might finally begin to cherish the local historic buildings!!

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      2. I have some sympathy with local authorities. They’re being squeezed so hard they’re totally wrung dry, and we’re all the losers.


  3. More fab pics and adventures! Have you been to the Roman Amphitheatre under London’s Guildhall, discovered by chance during excavations around the time of the last Millennium and opened to the public in 2002. It’s surprisingly exciting, even though only a bit of it remains. Maybe I’ll take you there one day.

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