Empúries (originally called “Emporion”, meaning “trading place” in Greek) was a colony founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC.
A few centuries later came the Romans, and they liked so much the place, that they decided to include it and its picturesque surroundings (the whole Iberian Peninsula) in their vast empire. They called this new portion of the Roman Empire “Hispania” (Spain & Portugal today)
And a few years later (2,200 years, roughly speaking), Covetotop visited Empúries armed with his reflex camera just to blog about this ancient mess.
The Ruins of Empúries consist mainly of ruins and Mediterranean ambience.
Seagulls are regular visitors of the Ruins of Empúries.
A powerful defensive wall surrounded Empúries.
Empúries had an Acropolis somewhere …
Empúries had an Asklepieion (a therapeutic and religious center consecrated to the Greek god of medicine Asklepios) ….
In 1992 the Olympic flame arrived from Greece in this ancient city on its way to Barcelona, for the 1992 Olympic games. A modern monument commemorates that event.
The Roman houses of Empúries were luxurious –I guess- and had chic mosaics, extraordinarily well preserved …
The older Greek houses of Empúries had simpler mosaics …
Weak minded and poor of spirit people wouldn’t see anything but stones and chaos everywhere …
… but Covetotop’s readers (all of them are sensitive and incredibly intelligent people) would experience an overwhelming feeling of history, art, culture, cosmos, philosophy, tempus fugit, delenda est Carthago, etc., if they ever visit this magic place.
Talking about Carthago, in 218 BC, during the Second Punic War, the Roman army under Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio landed at the port of Empúries in order to attack the Carthaginian troops that were boring everybody in the Iberian Peninsula by then. Scipio won and, consequently, the Roman culture and the Latin language prevailed in the whole Iberian Peninsula up to a few years before the arrival of pop culture and trash tv.
In 2014 AD Covetotop swam around the very same Greco-Roman wharf of Empúries where General Scipio landed. This is an incredible place to swim, because the ancient wall is extraordinarily well preserved. The beach is nice and the feeling of history is guaranteed.
Swimming in archaeological sites always makes me hungry.
Not far away from Empúries (a few minutes walking by idyllic beaches) it is the fishing town of l’Escala. A wonderful coastal path connects both locations (see my post “The Coastal Path of Empúries“).
Getting to l’Escala takes less time if you ride a bicycle …
At l’Escala there are superb and sophisticated restaurants, like “El Molí de l’Escala” or “El Roser 2”, but taking into account that I am not superb nor sophisticated, I opted for the traditional and economical “El Roser” (founded by the grandparents of the fashionable “El Roser 2” owners).
It is located just behind the church of l’Escala …
(Note to my readers: this blog is not sponsored by anybody; moreover, nobody at the restaurants or places I visit is ever aware that Covetotop is there. My recommendations are always very personal)
This Greco-Roman day I ate the menu of the day at the old “El Roser”: lobster cream and a delicious paella, plus dessert, mineral water and a bottle of local white wine for just 14 Euros (19 USD).
PD: The official web page of the archeological park of Empúries is this one: www.mac.cat/eng/Branches/Empuries