Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

It’s time to take a look at another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Last week we were in Belgium as we head to  to check out the La Grand-Place.

It’s been awhile, but today we’re traveling back to Portugal as we explore Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores!

Situated on one of the islands in the Azores archipelago, this was an obligatory port of call from the 15th Century until the advent of the steamship in the 19th Century. The 400-year-old San Sebastião and San João Baptista fortifications are unique examples of military architecture.

Damaged by an earthquake in 1980, Angra is now being restored.

How This Relates to Rome:

Romans first invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 219 BC. The Carthaginians, Rome’s adversary in the Punic Wars, were expelled from their coastal colonies. During the last days of Julius Caesar, almost the entire peninsula was annexed to the Res Publica Romana (Roman Republic).

Roman Legions battling in Lusitania.

The Roman conquest of what is now part of Portugal took almost 200 years and took many lives of young soldiers and the lives of those who were sentenced to the slavery mines, when not sold as slaves to other parts of the Imperium Rōmānum (Roman Empire). It suffered a severe setback in 150 BC, when the Lusitanians and other native tribes, under the leadership of Viriathus, wrested control of all of western Iberia.

Rome sent numerous Legions and its best Generals to Lusitania to quell the rebellion, but to no avail since the Lusitanians kept conquering territory. The Roman leaders changed their strategy and bribed Viriathus’s allies to kill him.

In 139 BC, Viriathus was assassinated, and Tautalus became leader. Rome installed a colonial regime, and the complete Romanization of Lusitania only took place in the Visigothic era.

In 27 BC, Lusitania gained the status of Roman province. Later, a northern province of Lusitania was formed, known as Gallaecia, with capital in Bracara Augusta (today’s Braga).

Thanks for taking the tour with us today. We hope you’re inspired to take further adventures within the Roman Empire.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!

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