Mérida is a small city in the Extremadura region of Spain. The city was originally founded as a Roman colony and it is best known of its Roman ruins, a really treasure to photograph.
History of Merida
Mérida was founded as the Roman town of Emerita Augusta in 25 BCE. “Emerita” is Latin for “veteran” and it is the root word for the modern English word “emeritus”. Instead Augusta comes from Emperor Augustus who founded the city. This was the city for the veterans who served under Emperor Augustus who were promised land as a reward for their service to Rome. The modern name of Mérida is derived from the Latin name for the city, Emerita. Indeed The Roman ruins in the city are probably the best in the entire Iberian peninsula and among the best in the world.
What Photograph Merida
There is a lot to see in Merida, and much of it is surrounded by modern buildings. So is better start early in the morning to photograph Merida, especially the places which don’t have an entrance fee or entrance times. Try to be ready to shoot at the sunrise to get the best light in the day. The main subject would be the ruins and the architecture This would include the Aqueduct, the circus, the Temple of Diana, and the bridge.
Then go to the Roman Theater and the amphitheater when it opens at 9am. This will give you the best light for both places, especially the theater, which is the showpiece of Mérida. Try to avoid tourist and be creative in your composition. In fact in some famous monument you need to capture with your own angle and maybe with different view.
When the sun is highest go to the museum and the Casa del Mitreo. In fact, both are either indoors or are covered and do not get direct sunlight. The museum building is a great work of architecture. Indeed it is a fantastic collection of Roman art and artifacts. Viewing the collection can easily take half a day if you try to see everything. In addition, there are ruins which can be found below the museum.
Out of Merida
When you finish to visit the town can you going at the Roman baths In Alange. They are located in this small town, which is approximately 30km outside of Mérida. The baths were built on a hot spring and were originally built by the Romans. Also, It still functions as a spa today and there are parts of the original Roman structure which can be seen. As it is a separate facility, the fees to enter are separate from any of the other attractions. The fee for the spa circuit is €35 which takes almost 2 hours.
How to get there
The closest international airports to Mérida are in Madrid, Seville, and Lisbon. Driving time from each airport is approximately 3-4 hours. The closest domestic airport would be in the city of Badajoz which is 70km away. The best way to travel and explore Mérida is with a car. The city is well connected to the rest of Spain by major highways and it is easy to reach by car. Also there are 6 daily buses which go from Madrid, Lisbon and Seville.