Look Back Into the Past at Barcelona's Roman Walls, the Feature of This Magnet
Located in the Plaça Ramón Berenguer, a small fragment of the Roman city walls survive, incorporated into the border of the Plaza; another fragment of these same fortifications survive as part of the walls of the city's Cathedral. First built in the First Century BC, these walls mark part of the expansion of Roman power into this region, replacing the former Cathaginian overlords after the Punic Wars. In time, Spain would become the breadbasket of the Empire, a thoroughly Romanized region that produced a number of Emperors. During most of this time, Barcelona was safetly deep within the Empire and the walls were left to decay. However, as the Empire declined, and Barcelona was once again threatened by the “barbarians” from Germanic Europe, the walls were rebuilt and expanded in the Fourth Century AD.
World War 0: Roman and Carthage in Eastern Spain
While most history buffs know that in the Punic Wars, the Cathaginian general Hanibal drove his war elephants over the Alps to attack Rome, far fewer of them know that he started this epic journey in Spain. The War began with the eight-month siege of the walled city of Saguntum – today called Sagunto on the train line between Barcelona and Valencia. Visitors can still walk the ancient walls of Saguntum and stand on the stage of the restored Roman theater. It was from the ruins of Saguntum that Hanibal began his journey north, first over the Pyrenees then through today's southern France, famously crossing the Alps and arriving within a few kilometers of the gates of Rome itself. The brutal war lasted between 218 and 201 BC and ended with Hanibal's defeat by Scipio Africanus and the final Roman domination of the Western Mediterranean.