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Baelo Claudia - Bolonia

On the 14th December the regional minister for culture inaugurated the new Visitor Centre; a building of 2000m2 on two floors. Over the past two years, residents and visitors alike have watched with horror as ‘The Bunker’ took shape on the hillside overlooking one of the most beautiful bays in Europe and beside one of the most famous Roman ruins. It’s amazing what fines are handed out and threats of demolition pronounced against illegal homes of mere mortals, but when it comes to a renowned architect from Seville and a government building, anything goes…

However, this unique historical site now has a complementary museum to the ruins – 80 per cent of which is still to be unearthed – and after following a marked route past the forum, theatre and fish salting factory, visitors can enter and see the whole of Roman life depicted in everyday scenes from when it was first settled in the 2nd century BC. Nowhere else in the Iberian Peninsula is it possible to have such a comprehensive view of a Roman city.

Although visitor numbers have increased some 20 per cent per year over the past few years, this new centre – if marketed correctly – should attract many more visitors off season; a welcome boost to the local economy which survives mainly on the excellent Bolonia chiringuitos in the Summer only.

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