Conímbriga  Archaeological Site




Location: 2 km (1 mi) South of Condeixa- a- Nova  Map


Open: 15 Mar- 15 Sep: 10am- 8pm daily

16 Sep- 14 Mar: 10am- 6pm daily

Closed: 25 Dec

Museum: Tel. 239 941 177

Open: 15 Mar- 15 Sep: 10am- 8pm Tue- Sun

16 Sep- 14 Mar: 10am- 6pm Tue- Sun


Description of Conimbriga Archaeological Site

Conímbriga Archaeological Site is the largest and most sophisticated Ancient Roman settlement in Portugal. It is situated 2 km (1 mi) South of Condeixa- a- Nova. First settlement in Conimbriga was established in the 6th century BC. Romans arrived here in the late 2nd century AD and annexed these lands. Former flourishing village increased and became a city. Walls, baths and beautiful residents covered by frescoes and mosaics were constructed here. Unfortunately Conimbriga didn't escape turmoil of the later years of the Roman Empire. Hordes of barbarians stormed city walls and destroyed the city. Few survivors might have lived on the ruins of their former home, but over time it was completely abandoned. The ruins were found in the early 20th century and archaeologists uncovered most of it. In 1930 the site became open to the public and in 1963 a museum of ancient Roman life was established here.


The name of the city can go back to the ancient, possibly pre-Indo-European element, meaning "rocky heights" and the Celtic word briga, meaning a fortified place. There is also a theory that the horse element can be traced back to the ethnonym horse.

Archaeological evidence suggests that Konimbriga was inhabited at least from the 9th century BC. e. according to the VII — VIII century AD e. When here in the first half of the II century BC. e. the Romans arrived, Conimbrigue was a prosperous village. Thanks to the establishment of peace in Lusitania and the rather quick processes of Romanization of the indigenous population, Conimbriga soon turned into a prosperous city. Due to the deep political and administrative crisis in the empire, Conimbrigo began to be attacked by barbarian tribes. In 465 and 468, the Suev tribes captured and plundered an already quite sparsely populated city.

The first systematic archaeological excavations began in 1899 thanks to the financial support of Queen Amelia. In 1910, Conimbrigo received the status of a national cultural monument (port. Monumento Nacional). The main works on clearing the territory and identifying objects were carried out in the 1930s and 40s. Since 1955, archaeological excavations have been resumed, and in 1962 the Conimbrigi Archaeological Museum (port. Museu Monográfico de Conimbriga) was founded, which presents artifacts found as a result of excavations.

Although Conimbrigo is not the largest Roman city in Portugal, it is best preserved. The city walls were preserved largely untouched, and the foundations and mosaic floors of many houses and public buildings also remained. In the baths you can see a network of stone heating channels under the currently missing floors. Archaeologists believe that by the beginning of the 2000s, only 10% of the city was excavated.