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Benalroma, the Roman villa of Benalmádena

Overview

Benalroma is one of the most important archaeological remains to be found in Benalmádena. It is the only coastal Roman Villa in the province of Malaga. It dates from the 3rd century AD, and is located on the seafront, at the intersection of Avenida Antonio Machado and Avenida de las Palmeras. At the end of the 4th century AD, it was completely abandoned.

It's history

In the 2nd century AD, after the Second Punic War, the entire population of Benalmádena was completely Roman. That is why the municipality still has several archaeological remains that show how the society of the time was organised. Today there are two Roman settlements in Benalmádena, as in addition to Benalroma, there is also the site of Torremuelle.

It was in 1980 when the first archaeological remains of the Roman villa of Benalmádena were found. Subsequently, excavation work began with archaeologists from the University of Málaga and the support of Benalmádena Town Hall. The experts uncovered what was once a luxurious villa with more than 2000 years of history. The best preserved remains are found in what would have been a garden area known as the “viridarium”, where the remains of a fountain decorated with marine motifs can be seen. A group of basins were also found which transported the water creating a cascade effect. This water flowed down to the beach thanks to a channel still visible on Avenida Antonio Machado. In this garden, the inhabitants of the village would spend their time strolling or meditating among trees and flowers.

Very close to this area are the remains of what was once a Roman oil factory. This part is located next to the Molinillos roundabout. In this area you can still see part of the pressing room, the stones and a floor with channels through which the oil would have flowed to the decanting room.This is the only example in the province of Malaga of olive oil facilities located on the coast. The production of oil, the central axis of the Mediterranean diet, was a key element of the Roman economy in our territories. This olive-oil mill was in operation for 200 years, as in the 3rd century AD it was transformed into a salting factory and a pottery kiln.

In 2004, when work began on the road, the remains of a baths and a room decorated with beautiful mosaics were discovered. All these remains may well have formed part of a huge “villa a mare” which was in use for 500 years, dedicated to the exploitation of the countryside and the sea. Nowadays we can learn more about Benalmádena’s past in the Centre of History and Archaeological Interpretation, located next to the site of the Los Molinillos roundabout, where we can learn more about the Roman economy in Benalmádena: fishing and the salted fish factory. Undoubtedly, an obligatory stop to better understand the past of our beautiful town.

 
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