When we talk about our history in Canada, we are only really talking about less than 200 years. In Portugal, history is a completely different experience. We visited the Milreu ruins in Estoi; a Roman villa inhabited from the 1st Century AD. Columns around the courtyard, bathing pools, underground heating and temple were a few of the highlights on our tour but the most impressive feature is the mosaic tiling found throughout. The materials used apparently were both local and from North Africa.
The site has served various religions over the centuries. After Roman occupation, the Christian’s moved in during the 6th century converting the temple to a church, in the 8th century it was converted to a mosque. In the 10th century the site was abandoned due to an earthquake and remained so until the 15th century when a farm house was built on the site. The excavations under the existing house show the various uses over time including how the Romans heated the floors. Now that is history!
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