On every trip you take there are always surprises. Unexpectedly, a fellow traveller recommended visiting Coinimbriga in central Portugal. Romans arrived in Coinimbriga in 139 BC. The settlement became a walled urban settlement. The Romans built a forum, amphitheater, thermal baths, large number of houses and other public amenities. The designation Coinimbriga came from conim, used by pre-European indigenous to designate the place of rocky eminence, and briga, the Celtic suffix meaning “citadel”. There is one section of the “city” that is covered by a roof, but the majority of floor mosaics are exposed to the elements. This is a small sampling of my walking tour through a Roman walled city.
Following up on my previous blog, the word “azulejo” comes from the Arabic “zellige” which means polished stone”. The original idea of Azulejo was to imitate the Byzantine and Roman mosaics. This origin explains the obvious Persian influences in many tiles, as the interlocking curvilinear, geometric or floral motifs.