Lugo Roman Walls - History and Facts | History Hit

Lugo Roman Walls

Lugo, Galicia, Spain

The Lugo Roman Walls have been described by UNESCO as "the finest surviving example of late Roman military fortifications", a title they truly deserve.

Lucy Davidson

21 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Lugo Roman Walls

The Lugo Roman Walls have been described by UNESCO as ‘the finest surviving example of late Roman military fortifications’. Stretching over 2 kilometres around the historic centre of Lugo in Galicia, Spain, the fortifications have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.

History of Lugo Roman Walls

Built in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD to protect the Roman city of Lucus Augusti, the Lugo Roman Walls are incredibly well-preserved, rising up to a height of between eight and twelve metres, with their two kilometre circuit remaining entirely intact.

Although the Lugo Roman Walls were built at a time when foreign invasion was a threat to all Roman Hispania, it is believed that they were actually intended to defend the city from internal threats, particularly from revolts of local tribespeople. In the end, it wasn’t disgruntled locals who breached the Lugo Roman Walls but the Germanic Suevi tribe in the 5th century.

Other people later captured Lugo, including the Visigoths and the Moors, followed by the Christians under Alfonso I, and then the Normans.

Several aspects of the Lugo Roman Walls are particularly impressive, including the fact that five of its ancient gates and forty six of its ancient towers are intact. While additions have been made over the centuries, what makes the Lugo Roman Walls remarkable is that they are predominantly Roman.

It is also worth noting that, during the medieval period, pilgrims passed through the gates of the Lugo Roman Walls – especially Porta Mina – along the famous route to Santiago de Compostela.

Lugo Roman Walls Today

Visitors can stroll along the Lugo Roman Walls via a specially built walkway along the entire length of the walls, which is both scenic and a fantastic way to view the exceptional walls and town.

In 2007, the walls were twinned with the Great Wall of China during a ceremony. Since the walls’ inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000, Lugo holds a popular festival called Arde Lucus each year to celebrate its Roman past.

Getting to Lugo Roman Walls

From the centre of Lugo, the walls are a 10 minute drive via Av. Ramón Ferreiro and Rúa San Roque.

 

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