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Home to dozens of Roman ruins, the city of Mérida sits proudly on the Iberian Peninsula just 174 miles (280 km) southwest of Madrid. This ancient city is located in the Badajoz province in the Extremadura region of western Spain, an area known for its dry summers and rainy winters.

Founded in 25 B.C., Mérida has rightly earned its title as a World Heritage Site. It boasts an ensemble of Roman sites. The city’s name evolved from its original one of Emerita Augusta, which means Army of Augustus. Mérida also referred to as “mini Rome,” was designated by the Emperor for Roman legionnaires and their families. Mérida eventually evolved into the capital of Lusitania, which was arguably the most important province in the western empire and included the area of modern-day Portugal. Today Mérida is home to more ancient Roman monuments than any other Spanish city.

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