When the ‘clos de la Torre’ in Badalona was developed in 1954, an exceptional discovery was found: the remains of the baths of the Roman town of Baetulo
in an excellent state of conservation. In order to preserve the remains, the Museum of Badalona was built over the top of them. It was opened in 1966.
Since its refurbishment in 2010, going down to the basement of the Museum of Badalona gives access to a 3,400 m2 site with the remains of the Roman city. In addition to the baths, the remains of the cardo maximus
and the decumanus maximus
(with the corresponding drains), various shops (tabernae
) and three housing complexes (insulae
) can be seen. This is one of the most important and well preserved archaeological sites from the Roman era in Catalonia
The permanent exhibition of the Museum tells the story of the first settlements witnessed in Badalona - prehistoric, iron age and Iberian - but it is the exhibits relating to Baetulo which stand out, among which are the hinge-posts of the city gate
, the Vas de les Naus (Ship Vase) and the portrait of Agrippina.
The collection features an epigraphic document of great value, the Tabula Hospitalis
, a bronze tablet that records a hospitality agreement from 98 AD between the baetulonenses
and Quintus Licinius Silvanus Granianus, governor of the city. Another jewel of the exhibition is the Venus of Badalona
, one of the most important representations of the female form in Catalonia. These pieces were returned to Badalona in 1980, having been looted during the Civil War.
Apart from the main building, the Museum has various extension sites: the Roman archaeological sites of the Casa dels Dofins
and the Garden of Quintus Licinius
, the Turó d'en Boscà
(a walled Iberian settlement), and the Can Miravitges
estate (an 18th century agricultural manor house).