Roman walls of Lugo

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Remarkably intact Roman stone fortifications encircled this Spanish city for centuries. Built sometime around the 3rd century, the ring of towers and walls which now surround the city of Lugo were originally constructed to protect a Roman city from barbarians, and they continue to contain the world’s only city that is completely surrounded by ancient Roman walls. 

Making a bulbous circuit around the border of the town, the ancient walls stand almost 40 feet tall at their highest point, with curved lookout towers bulging out of the wall at irregular intervals. The top of the wall stays a consistent 14 or so feet in width which can still be walked in a complete circuit. Ten gates were built into the wall, and of them, five are still the Roman originals.


Though the walls were built to fend off the Germanic hordes, originally being joined by moats and interior defenses, those same hordes are now welcomed as tourists. Visitors are encouraged to stroll atop the wall from which they can see the entire town of Lugo and beyond.   
The walls consist of internal and external stone facing the core of the earth. It's a mixture of pebbles, gravel and worked Roman stone, cemented with water. The walls have been rebuilt over the centuries, but their shape has never been changed. Even many of the wall’s staircases are original.


The Roman Walls of Lugo still have 10 gates. Five of them are dated to the Roman times, but the other five were added after 1853 due to the expanding town population. Among the five original gates, the best preserved are the Porta Falsa and the Porta Miña. The second one is located near the only original vaulted arch set. The most popular gate is Porta Miña, which is on the way for pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela.

After the fall of Roman control in 409 AD, Galicia became the independent Kingdom of Gallecia (known also as Galliciense Regnum). The old Roman capital of Galicia, Braga (currently in Portugal), became the new capital of the Kingdom controlled by the Germanic tribe Suebi.

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