The ancient Roman city Clunia ( officially Colonia Clunia Sulpicia ) was one of the largest and most important settlements in the province of Hispania Tarraconensis on the Iberian Peninsula.


Clunia situated in a depression of the plateau of the Alto de Castro in the south of the province of Burgos, at a height of about 1025 to 1030 meters above sea level. inst; the Río Arandilla flows about a kilometer southeast of the Roman town over and ensured their water supply during dry periods. The ruins now belongs to the district of Peñalba de Castro of the municipality ( municipio ) Huerta de Rey. The distance to the provincial capital of Burgos is just under 90 km ( driving distance ) in a northwesterly direction; Aranda de Duero, the city is located about 35 kilometers south-west. The listed protective village Coruña del Conde, in their buildings, many stones were reused by Clunia, only about two and a half kilometers (direct distance ) is south-west.


Although the foundation of the city is regularly attributed to the Emperor Tiberius, it is ensured that not far from the Roman town already existed in the 1st century BC, a Celtiberian or arevakische settlement with names Cluniaco (or Kolounioukou ). Livy reports that this settlement, which already coins were minted, conquered by the commander Pompey in 75 BC and was destroyed a few years later.

After the end of the Cantabrian war ( 29-19 BC), Emperor Tiberius (r. 14-37 AD), found on the road between Saragossa ( Caesar Augusta) and Astorga ( Asturica Augusta) located Clunia larger and more beautiful again build in order to promote the process of Romanization of the North of the Iberian Peninsula. The governor Galba retired in 68 at the end of the reign of the Emperor Nero after Clunia back here and took the contrary made ​​by the Roman Senate appointed emperor. You may Clunia received after Galba's gentile name Sulpicius the nickname Sulpicia, but which is occupied only on coins.

The city, which was granted the status of a Colonia later than the reign of Emperor Hadrian, grew and had the time of their flowering in the first half of the 3rd century about 30,000 inhabitants. In the second half of the 3rd century, however, the gradual but ultimately unstoppable decline of the city and the empire began. Germanic- Frankish shock troops and armies came in search of prey or for a new home again and again into the regions south of the Alps and the Pyrenees before. Clunia and other Roman cities of Spain were also inhabited in Visigothic times, although population and living standards were far removed from that of the 3rd century. From the Islamic era, little is known about the fate of the city; she seems to have depopulated, for in 912 the Leonese king García I. granted to Count Gonzalo Fernández commissioned to take care of their recolonization ( repoblación ). However, the settlers founded near a new settlement named Coruña del Conde, whose construction they used stones from Clunia.

Archaeological Site

The archaeological site of Clunia was always known; however, it is of intense research only since the 20th century. Excavation campaigns were held in 1915 /16, from 1931 to 1934 and in the 1950s. It was found that the former town area comprised a total area of ​​about 120 hectares. Although only a few sculptures have been found consistently include the geometric floor mosaics of the most beautiful of its kind in Spain.

  • The Roman Forum with its rectangular floor plan lay at the intersection of two main streets Cardo and Decumanus and formed the economic, religious and political heart of the city. It was surrounded by porticoes, whose columns have disappeared. A Roman Göttertrinität of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva temple dedicated took one of the narrow sides. Probably here was also the site for the emperor worship. The temple opposite rose the Basilica; here and below the - probably covered and thus protected from sun and rain - porticoes goods were spread and markets held. The Basilica also served as a representative assembly, reception and court facility. In the vicinity of the forum, most restaurants ( tavernae or speluncae ) were located.
  • The buildings of the city include a wide range of buildings - in the center there was built of stone and mosaic- decorated villas as well as multi-storey apartment buildings. Built of mud or timber craft of all kinds, which in most cases small sleeping quarters were affiliated, were found mainly in the outskirts of the city. In some cases, the villas in the center of shops were built out for more exclusive goods ( precious fabrics, glass and metal objects etc.).
  • The thermal baths were originally near the Forum; a new and larger thermal complex outside the city built - later - because of the fire hazard. They were used for body care and were also an important social meeting every Roman city - here private and business things were discussed; also ma was here amusements of all kinds indulge (food and wine, but also game and prostitution).
  • Also just outside the city in a north-easterly direction was the cemetery ( Necropolis ). Here, although only a few grave goods were brought to light, but a powerful stump cast brickwork (opus caementitium ) is still widely visible. He probably belonged to a grave monument whose cladding is removed and re-used elsewhere ( eg for the production of lime ).
  • On a hillside in the south of the Roman city, the semicircle of the well in the 1st century AD incurred theater, which, however, was rebuilt in the 2nd century that also could be held gladiator fights. Especially in the province found classical theater performances hardly an audience, while comedic or acrobatic performances were clearly popular.


In the 16th or 17th century a hermitage ( Ermita de la Virgen de Castro) was built in the immediate vicinity of the ruins of Clunia, for whose construction many stones of the old Roman city were used. The church has a porch ( portico ) consisting of three segmental arches in the west; rises above a small bell gable ( espadaña ). A square apse closes the nave building to the east.