Empúries is a privileged spot where the beauty of the setting rivals the weight of history in claiming the attention of visitors. As a natural harbour and nexus between trade routes, it encouraged the establishment of a Greek colony in the sixth century BC, and that colony took root thanks to the prosperity of its trading. When the Romans came, a military outpost acted as the initial embryo for the Roman town (first century BC), which joined together physically and legally with the Greek town to become the Municipium Emporiae in the time of the emperor Augustus.
It is precisely this coexistence of two cultures in a single metropolis that makes this site unique. The remains that can be visited today show only a quarter of what the city had been in its heyday.
The park, which is integrated in Catalonia’s Archaeology Museum is presided over by a building by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, an exponent of Catalonia’s Noucentista movement. On display in the museum are exhibits of great historical value, such as mosaics, paintings, ceramics, sculptures... a collection that grows as each successive excavation project runs its course.
Visitors are given a map showing the points of historical interest when they come into the site. One can also avail oneself of the visit to become acquainted with the local plant life as it was in Roman times through a tour showing the species that were most widespread at the time. All this can be explored with the help of a recorded audio-guide, by following the map, or by hiring the services of a guide.
Walk around ancient Empúries and explore the daily life of its settlers. The basic tour, which lasts around two hours, is well stocked with panels serving to take one back in time thanks to highly graphic portrayals of the buildings.
The cryptoporticus of the Roman Forum.
You will see the walls, the rooms, the Greek Agora and Stoa, the Roman Forum, the churches and temples, the leisure facilities such as the baths, the gymnasium and the amphitheatre, the shops and markets, the workshops, the houses... In short, behind every stone you will see for yourself how two classical civilisations lived, taking you back to the origins of this corner of the Mediterranean.