Discovering a Greek and Roman archaeological site on the same place, while enjoying the splendor of the Mediterranean, is what gives us the spectacular site of Empuries. Thi site is very important in the history of Catalonia. This importance is symbolized in 1992 by the arrival of the Olympic flame from Greece as the first settlers of Empuries. The flame traveled the frigate Cataluña for the journey between Greece and Spain, and landed on Spanish territory by Empuries, the door of Hellenic civilization in the Iberian Peninsula.
The tour offers the discovery of a Greco-Roman harbor founded in -600 and abandoned in the early Middle Ages. It has two different geographically separated parts, corresponding to two distinct phases of occupation:
- Neapolis, Greek city
- Roman town
The site is located at the bottom of the Bay of Roses, not far from the beaches of l’Escala (possible walk along the sea). Empuries site name comes from the Greek word « emporion » which means counter for trade. This name gave also the name of the region Emporda.
paleopolis, phocean founders city
There is no more traces from this first city of the sixth century BC. It was located at the current location in the village of Sant Marti d’Empuries. This village is a nice complement to the visit of the archaeological site, with the beach (do not forget your towel), old houses, shady streets. Located at the bottom of the Bay of Roses, the site provides a natural protection to merchant ships.
Today, the beaches are allways well protected from the wind.
Following an increase in population due to wars in Greece, as a city set on the other side of the harbor: the Neapolis. Today visitors can see the remains of this small town.
The Roman town of Empuries
From IIIeme century BC, the city passed to Roman. The various constructs that span several centuries creates a much larger city than the Greek one. Today you can find the forum, surrounding walls, homes with well preserved mosaics and the remains of baths.
Finally a museum present many artifacts found on the site.
Last tip to visit Empuries: adapt your schedule to the heat because there is no shade on the site. Do not forget to bring water. Book hottest hours in the museum. Enjoy windy days or cloudy to visit instead of going to the beach. And if the sun is shining to much , enjoy the beach of Sant Marti d’Empuries.
I hope you will keep great memories of this visit which allows us to be a little closer to our mediteranean ancestors