Attached to the grand Teatro Romano, the (slightly less dazzling) Anfiteatro opened in 8 BCE for gladiatorial contests and held 14,000; the gladiator-versus-lion fresco in the Museo Nacional de Arte Romano was taken from here.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Mérida attractions

1. Teatro Romano

0.06 MILES

Mérida's most spectacular Roman monument, and the only one to once again fulfil its original function – by hosting performances during the Festival…

2. Casa del Anfiteatro

0.09 MILES

Outside the main gate to the Roman theatre, the Casa del Anfiteatro, a 3rd-century mansion, has some reasonable floor mosaics but was closed for…

3. Museo Nacional de Arte Romano


Even if you visit only a handful of Mérida's sights, make sure one of them is this fabulous museum, which has a superb three-floor collection of statues,…

4. Los Columbarios

0.22 MILES

This garden-fringed Roman funeral site contains two well-preserved 4th-century crypts and is decently documented (in Spanish) and illustrated. A footpath…

5. Pórtico del Foro

0.27 MILES

The restored 1st-century Pórtico del Foro, the municipal forum's portico, is 100m northeast up Calle de Sagasta from the Templo de Diana.

6. Templo de Diana

0.35 MILES

The soaring columns here are one of Mérida's most dramatic, incongruous sights, surrounded as they are by the buildings of a modern Spanish city…

8. Cripta de Santa Eulalia

0.36 MILES

This basilica was built in the 5th century in honour of Mérida's pat­ron saint, who is said to have been martyred in the 4th century. It was then…