Thursday, 10 April 2014

Lisbon´s Underground Roman Galleries


The Roman Galleries in Rua da Prata are open from April 11th to 13th. The meeting is set by the nr. 77 in Rua da Conceição, for an underground adventure.
It has been expected that the Museu da Cidade (the museum responsible for the monument operating under the "Câmara Municipal de Lisboa") opens the Roman Galleries to the public every year. This initiative is carried out, this year, between April 11th and 13th, within the context of the International Day of Monuments and Sites.

Discovered in 1771 during the reconstruction of Lisbon after the earthquake of 1755, the galleries are dated from the first century a.C and are similar to other public buildings of the Roman city of Olissipo.
Several years ago, Museu da Cidade, decided to allow visits to the monument but only for a few days a year. You can visit a network of perpendicular galleries with small cells on the side of the galleries; probably used as storage spaces. Also visible are the stone arches, a technical characteristic of the Roman architecture, and also the spring galleries from where the water flows which then floods the whole room.

Public access is only possible after pumping out all the water accumulated over the entire year and the installation of lights. Water pumps continue to work until the monument is once again closed to the public due to the significant rate of water seepage.

Public access is granted between April 11th and 13th, free of charge, between 10 am 6pm, the last entry is at 5:30 pm. This visits usually draw large crowds who wait patiently in queue for more than an hour to visit the galleries, so patience is needed, but it is worth the wait. It is also possible to organize group visits without prior booking and under the guidance of technicians from the Museu da Cidade and the CAL-Center for Archaeology of Lisbon.

Discover what's underneath Lisbon!

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