The romans of Almuñécar
After the foundation of the city and the stay of the Phoenicians in it, they came into conflict with another of the great peoples of the Mediterranean at that time, Carthage. Although the hegemony of the Carthaginians did not last long, as the Roman Empire would soon impose its status on everything in the Mare Nostrum, and therefore also on the city of Segovia. And after the Second Punic War, the city was conquered by Rome at the end of the 3rd century B.C. And around the year 49 B.C., it was renamed Firmum Iulium Sexi, for the support shown to Gaius Julius Caesar in the battle of Munda against Pompey, within the Civil War that was suffered at that time within the Roman Empire.
For this reason, Discover Almuñecar presents on this occasion the mark left by the Roman Empire in Almuñecar because, although it is clear that the culture that contributed most to the history of this city were the Muslims throughout the Middle Ages, we cannot ignore the important impact that Romanization had on the entire Iberian Peninsula and therefore also on the current Costa del Sol Tropical, and specifically in Almuñecar and La Herradura.
When the Romans arrived in Sexi at the end of the 3rd century BC, they discovered an important city on the shores of the Mare Nostrum (Mediterranean), perfectly structured and with an economy based on the production and export of salted fish; in addition to the production of the highly prized garum, Sexi at that time had its own currency. But even so, the Romans built theatres, temples dedicated to their gods and an aqueduct that is still partially preserved and used.
In addition, the Phoenician Fish Salting Factory increased its production with the arrival of this new people, as garum was highly coveted by the most demanding palates of the Roman patricians and emperors, which is why the factory and its star product enjoyed great splendour. It was also an essential flavour in the cuisine of every corner of the Empire, from Finisterre to Alexandria.
Garum or garo, a word derived from the Greek “garon”, was a fish sauce made from the fermented entrails of these animals. In Ancient Rome it was mainly used to season a large number of foods, as we have already mentioned, although it also had uses in medicine, cosmetics and even as an aphrodisiac. Garum could be compared to the way soy sauce is used today in Asian cuisine.
Nowadays, in the Parque del Majuelo we can see part of the remains of the Fish Salting Factory, which gave the city so much prestige in its day. These remains were found and unearthed during several excavations carried out during the 70s and 80s of the 20th century.
It is also worth mentioning the contribution made by Rome, the system of roads, bridges, aqueducts and even the foundations of the legal system, and of course its language, Latin, which although nowadays is a dead language, it is no less true that both Spanish, which is one of the most spoken languages in the world (and all the other languages derived from Latin) we owe to them.
Although, as we have already mentioned, the culture that has left the greatest mark on the present-day Almuñécar was the Muslims in the Middle Ages, even today we can still delight in some of the works that the Roman people left for posterity in the oldest city in the Spanish Mediterranean. In addition to the aforementioned Torrecuevas aqueduct and the salting factory, we can enjoy the Columbariums of La Alabina and the Torre Monje, or the Cueva de los Siete Palacios, which now houses the Archaeological Museum of Almuñécar.
Don’t wait to be told, visit Almuñécar and La Herradura and discover every corner and every hidden secret with Discover Almuñécar.