The Roman Route

The Monographic Museum of Pol·lèntia

Located in the historical center, in a building that housed a former 16th century hospital, the museum houses a series of pieces from the excavation campaigns carried out in Pol·lèntia - an important collection of ceramics, as well as various glass objects, jewels, etc. are exhibited.

It is worth noting the three marble sculptures found in the forum area, as well as a female bronze head that gives its name to one of the houses in the Portella area where it was found. There is also a space dedicated to the Pol·lèntia necropolis, with an inscription by Cornelio Ático

Site history

Thanks to a series of propitious findings that would inspire decades of research and study, and the bust of Augusto Velado, we have the first mention of Pol·lèntia dating back to the 16th century. The first systematic excavations began in the 1920’s under the auspices of Professor Gabriel Llabrés Quintana and Rafel Issassi. In 1936 the Civil War put a temporary stop to the investigations, which were later resumed and have carried on to this day, with prominent names like Almagro, Tarradell, Arribas and Wood. This coincides with the creation of the Hispano-American Archaeological Centre in the 50’s, under the patronage of the William Bryant Foundation, which ran the works until the end of the 90’s when the site was taken over by the City Council of Pol·lèntia.

Archaeological area

The Roman city of Pol·lèntia is located south of the historical centre of Alcúdia, in the direction of the port. Archaeologists place it within an area of ​​between 16 and 18 hectares, in which different excavated areas can be found, each one revealing different aspects of the lifestyle in the city during Roman times:

  • La Portella: This area, located south of the parish church, is the closest to the historical centre. The remains that can still be seen correspond to a neighbourhood of houses: the house "of the two treasures", of which the entire floor organized by the central courtyard or atrium is preserved; the house "of the Bronze Head", and the "Northwest" house, in addition to a series of structures believed to be workshops. At the moment the road layout can be appreciated, as well as a fragment of the Roman wall from the third century A.D.
  • The Forum: This space was the social and religious center of the city. From inside you can see the remains of the Capitoline temple, a set of tabernae (shops) that constituted the commercial area, as well as other structures that include the edicule, which currently focuses much of the research on the urban layout of Pol · lentia In the forum, where excavation campaigns are currently carried out during the summer period. Use of this area culminated with the settlement of a necropolis (around 600 A.D.).
  • The Roman Theatre: Located on the outskirts of the city of Pol·lèntia, it was the leisure centre for the entire population from the 1st century A.D. Of its semicircular structure, the floor without a roof, a good part of the cavea or grandstand, the orchestra pit and the stage are conserved. You can also see, as in the Forum, the remains of a necropolis. It should be noted that unlike most Roman theatres, this one is a theatre carved into rock.

Roman city of Pol·lèntia

One of the most interesting excursions you can go on within the Alcudia municipality is to visit the remains of the Roman city of Pol.lèntia, located next to the medieval walls of Alcúdia town. Founded in around 70 BC, it is a key reference point to learning about the spread of the Roman empire in the Balearic Islands.

Two points of interest are discernible; the Roman city and the Monographic Museum - both integral parts of the metropolis. Access to the first one is located in front of the church of Sant Jaume de Alcúdia, while the entrance to the museum is in the street of Sant Jaume. Roman city of Pol.lèntia. You can begin the tour at the entrance to the site, located in the Portella, a residential neighbourhood located northwest of the city, where the Dos Tresors house, the Cap de Bronze house and the Nord-ouest houses are located.

In the center of the city you will find the remains of the Forum, once considered to be the public square,and from here you can see the remains of the Capitoline Temple, a large area called the Tabernae, and the fortified enclosure, in addition to the surface remains of an extensive necropolis.

According to studies conducted on the ruins of the Forum, it’s foundation is estimated to date back to around 70–60 BC. The tour ends at the Roman Theatre (1st century AD), built on the outskirts of the city, and close to the place where historians place the ancient Roman port. The cave excavated into the rock, the orchestra and the foundations of the stage complete the archaeological ensemble that was later used as a necropolis - the cave burials can still be appreciated.

The Monographic Museum of Pol.lèntia is located in an old 14th century hospital, in a municipal building in the historic center of the city. Inside, various objects found during the archaeological city excavations are exhibited, clearly representative of the “modus vivendi” typical of a Roman city, in all its public and private aspects. Outside the metropolis, one of the few temples dating from the first Catalan repopulation on the island (13th century), the church of Santa Anna, is still preserved. The building is located just a few hundred meters from the architectural complex of Pol.lèntia.