About La Olmeda Roman Villa
La Olmeda Roman Villa (Villa Romana de La Olmeda) is a well-preserved 4th century AD Roman home in Palencia, Spain.
Spanning 3,000 square metres and comprised of 27 rooms, La Olmeda Roman Villa is best known for its mosaics, the most important of which depict great mythological scenes and can be found in its main hall. Several of the rooms in Olmeda Roman Villa also still contain the remains of the Roman under floor heating systems known as hypocausts.
In addition to the main building, the Olmeda Roman Villa site is surrounded by other Roman ruins such as numerous burial sites and a set of thermal baths.
La Olmeda Roman Villa history
The Roman agrarian villa at Olmeda grew in several stages from the 1st to the 3rd century AD. The villa complex expands around an elite living quarters containing 27 rooms, 12 of which were tiled with mosaic, centred around a patio and peristyle garden.
The Olmeda villa reflected the occupants’ wealthy status, connected to baths by a grand passageway and also included more rustic working and living buildings, such as kilns for baking tiles.
La Olmeda Roman Villa was discovered in July 1968 when a farmer ploughing his crops found a Roman bronze piece. The site was shortly afterwards excavated, finding some beautiful ancient mosaics and buildings.
The villa’s remains were donated to the Palencia in 1980, and between 1981 and 1984 a new roof and walkway for visitors was constructed around the site. The San Pedro church was renovated to house the La Olmeda Roman Villa Museum, which opened in late 1984.
La Olmeda Roman Villa today
Open Tuesday to Sunday between 10.30 and 6.30, La Olmeda Roman Villa is a superb way to transport yourself back into the lives of ancient Romans. You do not need a tour guide to enjoy the villa – a recommended route guides you from informative panels to interactive devices, telling the story of the villa.
The modern building, itself an impressive work of architecture, contains walkways that follow the natural shape of the villa for you to get the best view of those intricate mosaic floors. Standard entry costs 5€ and can be bought from the reception.
Getting to La Olmeda Roman Villa
By car, from Madrid take the A-1, A-231 and the C-615 road from Panecia to Riaño (which takes around 3 hours). The nearest train station is Palencia, a 45 minute car or taxi drive from the villa where there is car parking.