Santiponce Itálica

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Ilipa Magna Roman Defensive Wall and Interpretation Centre

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Defensive wall:

The defensive wall, declared a Site of Cultural Interest (BIC in Spanish), has the highest degree of protection.  It was built on two steep hills where the primitive urban settlement was located. The oval-shaped perimeter wall, which is about 1,500 m2, encloses about 14 hectares. Built around 1st century BC, it is an excellent example of the romanisation of Baetica with the arrival of Augustus. The defensive wall has a maximum width of 1.20 m, and the height exceeds 8 m. It is built with very hard opus caementicium (Roman concrete).

The wall runs along the Avenida de Andalucía, Altozano, Real de Castilla, Aurora Martel, Antonio Reverte and Sol streets, where the “ILIPA MAGNA ROMAN DEFENSIVE WALL” INTERPRETATION CENTRE is located. According to research, there appears to have been an aqueduct that brought water from Burguillos to this settlement. The wall continues along Turpila and Pasaje Real, and from there, through the Alcázar and Mesones streets. Several towers can still be found at 25 m intervals. In short, a monument with high historical value.

Ilipa Magna Roman Defensive Wall Interpretation Centre (CIMR)

The ancient Roman city of Ilipa Magna, present-day Alcalá del Río, was founded in the first millennium before Christ during the Phoenician colonisation. It saw its heyday in the Roman period. This importance was reflected by ancient historians such as Strabo or Ptolemy who called it Magna, to highlight its relevance versus other cities.

Under Rome, the city built its forum, port, currency, etc. However, the wall is the most important architectural monument. Its construction (c. 1st century AD) is a clear example of the Baetica’ romanisation under Augustus. The wall surrounded the hills on which the town was founded, taking advantage of the topographical conditions of the terrain to enhance its defences. This is further boosted because the wall is flanked on one side by the River Guadalquivir and, on the other, by the Casanchas Stream.

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