The Splendour of the Roman World

Los Bañales is the most important Roman site in the Comarca de las Cinco Villas and one of the most remarkable in Aragon. It is located 95 kilometres from Zaragoza, in the municipality of Uncastillo. This archaeological site is being brought back to life thanks to recovering works that have been carried out over the last ten years so we can learn about the history of this great roman city, of over 20 hectares, with an aqueduct of large columns, a forum, several houses and other secrets that, year after year, are being discovered thanks to the excavation campaigns carried out through an innovative management model in which the Comarca and the municipalities to which these Roman vestige belong (Uncastillo, Layana, Biota and Sádaba) have joined forces.

The archaeological site of Los Bañales receives thousands of visits every year, (around 4,000) from different parts of Aragon and Spain who enjoy the specialists’ explanations given about the archaeological remains.

In addition, for those who want to enjoy a free visit, there is an APP, called ‘Los Bañales, Classical Archaeology for young people’, a project promoted in collaboration with the Spanish Foundation of Science and Technology and the University of Navarra, along with Adefo Cinco Villas.

Likewise, it is possible to approach the work of archaeologists when visiting this site, since the excavation campaigns are ongoing. This a particularly attractive idea in the summer when students from all over the world (Canada, Uruguay, Chile, Ireland, California, Georgia, etc.) come to work on the site, thanks to the scholarship program granted by the Comarca de las Cinco Villas, since the project has a component that goes beyond tourism: the educational one. A model that already serves as a reference in prestigious universities, in the congress on management of archaeological heritage at the University of Évora (Portugal), or the International conference on Classical archaeology (Cologne-Bonn, Germany), where this site is commonly used as an example.

The Bañales project has a further pedagogical purpose as it is the starting point of school workshop programmes in which many schools take part, led by Reyes Católicos and Ejea de los Caballeros colleges with the support of the Universities of Navarra and Zaragoza.

Many of these students then participate in excavation campaigns, one of which is focused on a monumental public building north of the forum, several aristocratic homes with mural paintings and other secrets hidden in this city, whose name cannot be certified yet for sure, but whose magnificence is similar to that of Rome, with impressive thermal baths, an aqueduct and large buildings in which the Romans where living, lords of a period in which this region was seen as the ‘granary of Aragon’ thanks to its cereal agriculture. A rich land that is now reborn and whose past is being recovered little by little.