National Museum of Roman Art.

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Museo Nacional de Arte Romano

Top choice in Mérida

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, busts, mosaics, frescoes, coins, pottery and other Roman artefacts, all beautifully displayed alongside information panels in Spanish and English. Designed by Navarran architect Rafael Moneo, the soaring arched brick structure makes a stunning home for the collection, its walls hung with some of the largest, most beautiful mosaics.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Mérida attractions

1. Anfiteatro


Attached to the grand Teatro Romano, the (slightly less dazzling) Anfiteatro opened in 8 BCE for gladiatorial contests and held 14,000; the gladiator…

2. Teatro Romano

0.12 MILES

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

3. Casa del Anfiteatro

0.14 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…

4. Pórtico del Foro

0.19 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.

5. Cripta de Santa Eulalia

0.26 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…

6. Templo de Diana

0.27 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…

7. Los Columbarios

0.28 MILES

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