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In 25BC, the Roman governor of Augustus founded the township of Emerita Augusta. It was well-situated on the River Guadiana and at the junction of major Roman roads, and as a result soon became the capital of Lusitania. The Romans lavished upon it temples, a theatre, an amphitheatre and even a 400m-long circus, now hidden by undergrowth. The teatro and the amfiteatro are still visible, as are the Temple of Diana and the superb mosaics preserved in the Museo Nacional de Arte Romano.

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