The Villa of Veranes

A Roman hacienda in Gijón

The Roman manor and the prestige enjoyed by some of its notables was seen in their urban and, in this case, rural dwellings. Gijón is fortunate to have an archeological site that clearly illustrates the constituent parts of this type mansion: "Roman Villa", inhabited until the fifth century after Christ. At present it is one of the most paradigmatic places to investigate the transition from the Roman to the medieval world. Serve as an example that in Veranes constructive aspects are undertaken that will later be reflected in the pre-Romanesque.


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This Roman Village It comprises one hectare of extension in the place known as Venta de Veranes, it is located in a slope, half slope and about 150 meters above sea level. Its construction follows the canons of the time, as can be read in one of the information panels: »The house should be located in a higher and drier place than the surroundings to avoid cracks in the foundations and to enjoy good views (…) In addition, it can be surrounded (the building) of gardens, pomares or meadows ». These tips were followed closely in Veranes, because the panoramas are splendid and the ability to dominate the territory at a glance is exceptional. This is another of the attractions of our visit, a unique location that helps us understand Roman philosophy. The little emperor of this hacienda he lived on agriculture and livestock, and his villa dominated a beautiful sunny hill, which allowed him even the cultivation of vineyards, very rare in these latitudes. Those responsible for the landscape treatment of the site clearly illustrate its ancient agricultural use, with the planting of vineyards and other species that represent the crops of those times.

The town is very close to the old Roman road that, coming from León and Astorga, went through the center of the region to Gijón. The location of Veranes, just outside the city (12 kilometers from Gijón), obeys the demands of the time we have mentioned: quiet, sunny places, animated by the beauty of the environment and with plenty of water. Although in Asturias the Romanization was slow in relation to other areas of Spain, in Gijón the Roman presence is increasingly verified and better dated, with complexes of great value such as the Campo Valdés hot springs or the fertile archeology of Campa Torres. Specifically this hacienda (belonging to a notable owner who was surely called Veranius) it was built on a primitive high-importance settlement of great relevance. Throughout the fourth century after Christ, it underwent different reforms and extensions. Currently its state of conservation is one of the best preserved in Northern Spain. The site highlights the swimming pool, mosaics, four-meter-high walls, heated rooms and an extensive necropolis of medieval origin, belonging to the ruins of a Visigothic church. These medieval ruins were the only remains that were known in the area before excavations began in the 80s of the last century. After several decades of work, today you can make sure that Veranes is the only town excavated in depth in the entire Cantabrian Sea.

What do we find in the village of Veranes?

The archaeological space It has an interpretation center with an audiovisual room and permanent exhibition with ceramic remains and utensils obtained in the excavations. Is about an unusual new plant building where the visitor is received. It stands out for its sober and effective walls: stone and metal mesh, which fit like a glove on this beautiful promontory. The visit to the archaeological remains proper is done through a path that, starting from this property, will allow us different observation points. The main entrance of the old villa It is on the west flank and gives access to the north patio. To the left of this is the service area (barn, kitchen and oven), and to the right the entrance to the rest of the rooms. A long covered gallery, or loggia, led to spaces of representation destined for social and political life. To the south, there is a living room or exedra, a large dining room or triclinium that ends in an apse, and baths or hot springs. Some rooms retain part of their original pavements. Of them, it stands out the representation stay (oecus). This is the dominant piece of the set, carpeted by a superb polychrome mosaic of about 50 square meters of which forty percent is preserved. In this magnificent floor, among other late-Roman decorative elements, the tesserae with Solomon's knot are discovered: two rings interlocked four times, image of the fortress and protection. This central space of Veranes has a modern cubic-shaped roof that evokes the volume that originally had the room. Here, the gentleman of Veranes received the clientele and the public or private embassies, exercising his control over people and lands at a level almost equivalent to that of the emperor himself.

The walk through the ruins It allows us to know what everyday life was like back then, what their tenants ate, how they got food, what kind of livestock they had, what they spent their free time, how they exercised their power ...
Our tour is completed with a video guide for individual use, available at the museum reception, which recreates the walls and the original dependencies of the villa and provides a more complete view of the village of Veranes.

Villa de Veranes opening hours

Winter time:
· From September 16 to June 15. Tuesday to Sunday and holidays.
· From 10 to 15 hours.

Summer schedule:
· From June 16 to September 15. Tuesday to Sunday and holidays.
· From 10:30 to 19 hours.

Easter Hours:
· From Tuesday to Sunday.
· From 10 to 17 hours.

Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com


coordinates Latitude: 43.4857979 Length: -5.7537889

Information:

Information telephones:
985 185 129
629 755 409

Access: the Roman town of Veranes is 12 kms. from Gijón, it is accessed via the AS-II motorway, exit 17. Follow signs.

Services:
Guided tour for groups upon reservation.
Educational programs.
Video guides and sale of publications.
Attention to people with disabilities and accessible premises.
Parking.
Rental of spaces.

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