Sleeping on top of the Romans
Calahorra Travel Blog› entry 40 of 47 › view all entries
I had been driving most of the day and I decided to call it a day. I had put the target on Calahorra a city I never had heard about before but there is always a first thing for everything. My GPS guided me to the Parador hotel in the city centre. The city was a lot smaller than I had imagined. Calahorra is located in the comarca of La Rioja Baja, near the border with Navarre on the right bank of the Ebro. The city is located on a hill at an altitude of 358 metres at the confluence of the Ebro and Cidacos rivers. Calahorra is the second-largest city in La Rioja in population and importance, after the capital, Logroño. Its population is 21,060 people.
The hotel looked nice and I walked in to see if they had a room for the night.
Almost all the cities that I had pasted on the way to Calahorra had signs regarding treasures from ancient times. Apparently there were a lot of Roman findings in the area. Calahorra had been inhabited since the Paleolithic, and its stable population dates to the Iron Age.
Rome conquered the town in 187 BC and brought it to its highest point of importance as an administrative centre for surrounding regions.
The city was only taken four years later by Pompey's legate Lucius Afranius, after a lot of inhabitants had died from starvation and there had occurred cannibalism. Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar gave the city (then named Calagurris) numerous distinctions, converted it into a municipality, and developed its city planning, economy, and politics. Its archeological remains show that it had a circus, baths, an amphitheatre, and other services found in large cities. It minted money and served as a justice administration centre.
Quintilian, well known for his descriptions of the culture of that time, was born in Calahorra, and the Parador in the city is named after him. It has Roman ruins in the grounds.
After the rule of the Moors in the 9th and 10th centuries the Christian king García Sánchez III of Navarre captured the city in 1045.