Iluro The Roman splendour of Mataró
Remains of the Roman Villa of the Capuchins, in Mataró. CC By-SA 3.0 -Vàngelis Villar / Wikimedia Commons
Founded in 80-70 BC on a natural promontory, ancient Iluro (modern Mataró) was one of the most important Roman cities of the time, acting as an organisational centre for an extensive territory (almost the entire region of Maresme). Today, the majority of archaeological remains are preserved under the historic centre of Mataró and make up one of the most important Roman archaeological sites in Catalonia.
The main documented remains of this city, which eventually extended over 6 hectares, include sections of the wall and parts of the forum, several public buildings, urban and suburban necropolises, streets, houses, a large cistern, the market, and sewers and conduits of this city which went on to have 6 hectares of extension. A small part of these ruins can currently be seen today at ground level, within different buildings and squares.
The importance of ancient Iluro is reflected in the presence of such prominent public buildings and in the fact of having a complex defensive system that was used until the 5th century AD. During the time of Emperor Augustus the city experienced its moment of splendour and obtained the legal status of municipum. The various domus of the city are also testament to this prosperous past: of these, the Villa of the Capuchins, Villa of the Dolphins and, in particular, the Lauder Tower, are the most notable.
The latter was located on the outskirts of the city, right next to the Via Augusta. The remains of the residential area (pars urbana), and the area reserved for agricultural production have been preserved here. As usual, the rooms of the manor house were arranged around the atrium or entrance hall, and in the central part there was the impluvium, an area used for water storage. Equipped with thermal baths, the villa, in a good state of conservation, is richly decorated in mosaics with geometric and plant motifs.
Plan your visit
Guided tour every Saturday: September 16 to June 15, at 12:00 and from 15 June to 15 September, at 19:00.