The first thing to do upon arrival is pay a visit to the museum where you will get into the history of Baelo Claudia to learn more about its origins. The interpretive center Baelo Claudia opened in 2007, in it you will have the chance to spot numerous pieces recovered during excavation as well explanations of the site.
The city dates from 2 B.C., and its origin is related to the creation of tuna salting factories and trade with nearby Africa. Baelo Caludia was the port binding with Tinguis, the current Tanjer. The exploitation of marine resources was the raison d’etre of the city of Baelo Claudia. Tuna and the traditional salted fish sauces in the Roman Empire (garum) involved all social sectors that were enriched with these products. What began as a salted fish industry, taking advantage of the migration of tuna passing through the strait in May and July, ended up being a great Roman city.
What is unique to this archaeological site are its well preserved ruins, and its spectacular waterfront setting next to the spectacular Playa de Bolonia. The site is beautiful and it is not difficult to imagine what life was like at that time.
Aqueducts, temples, forum … Welcome to Rome
You can perfectly spot administrative buildings as the curia, or also the market, shops, Roman roads, and theater are all surrounded by an exceptional walled enclosure.
With the help of the guides you can understand how life was in the 2nd century B.C. in this villa in front of the sea. During the tour, you will see some of the factories pools where fish were left to ferment, as well as methods of making the famous garum sauce, which was then sent to the rest of the empire sealed in amphora.
Garum: the Sauce of the Roman Empire
Garum was a real delight for the Romans, but was only consumed by the upper classes. This sauce was produced in large quantities in Baelo Claudia and was distributed throughout the Empire. It was made of fish entrails (sardines, halibut, bluefin tuna, ….) that were spiced with wine, vinegar, sangre and oil. We do not know what it tasted like, but it probably today would not have as much success.
The ruins have been buried for centuries until the early 20th century when excavations began to bring to light the first remains of the settlement. According to experts, today about 20% of the city has been excavated, so we can get an idea of what this place was in the 2nd century when it was at its peak.
Archaeological site Baelo Claudi Video
Information about Archaeological site Baelo Claudia