It was first a Celtic settlement in the Iron Age, but was occupied by the Romans in the 1st century A.D., who turned it into a prosperous city. It was destroyed during the barbarian invasions, when the Suevi attacked in 468 A.D.
The life of the Romans in Conimbriga can be seen in the House of Cantaber, one of the largest houses ever discovered in the western Roman empire. The villa includes its own bathing complex, a sophisticated heating system, ornamental pools, and colonnaded gardens. Nearby is the House of the Fountains, now under a protective cover. It is a good example of early Roman design and architecture, with bases of columns, fountains, pictorial mosaics, and paving stones.
Many mosaics can be seen on the site, many in almost perfect condition, with incredibly detailed and colorful designs. There are also ruins of temples, a forum, an aqueduct, water conduits, drains, and elaborate piping systems that heated the town's public and private bathrooms.
A Local museum site recounts the daily life in the town. Displays include statues, monuments, mosaics and a colossal head of Augustus Caesar that originally stood in the town's Augustan temple. The museum is closed on Mondays. For more information use these links, each of which opens in a new window:
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