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Icono Yacimientos 45 Pol·lèntia

Pol·lèntia is the only Roman city on the island that visitors can easily enjoy on foot. It is in the town of Alcúdia, at the entrance to the municipality before the Renaissance town walls. This Mallorcan archaeological site has a parking area where you can leave your vehicle before heading to the entrance that gives access to the remains.

According to written sources, the urban centre was founded in 123 Before the Common Era (bce) following the conquest of the island by the Roman consul Quintus Caecilius Metelus. With this military watershed, Palma was also founded. Written sources also mention three relatively important indigenous centres of population: Bocchor (present day Pollença), Guium and Tucis. There is no archaeological record of these last two towns.

The city of Pol·lèntia was very probably founded on an indigenous settlement in the area. Although the date of foundation of Pol·lèntia is 123 bce, archaeological data show that the Roman occupation with the construction of the forum and other infrastructure did not take place until well into the 1st century bce, long after the conquest. It would be at this time that it would obtain the status of colony.

This enclave occupied an approximate area of 18 hectares, and the archaeological site in Alcúdia has various areas of interest:

  • The Portella: a residential area with workshops, where the Casa dels dos Tesors (House of the Two Treasures) is of particular interest.
  • The Forum, with the main temples and a commercial area of taverns, arcaded streets and a market.
  • The Theatre.

The colony would have had some 4,000 inhabitants according to approximate calculations. It would be a small city in comparison with others in the Roman sphere of the time, but for Mallorca it would have been a densely inhabited centre of population.

The city would have two main functions: as a commercial port and as a military port. It would be a key location for controlling the maritime routes that connected the Italian Peninsula and the Iberian Peninsula, Mallorca being a strategic enclave.

Areas of interest:

The Portella: This is the residential neighbourhood and is located at the entrance to the site. In it a street system has been recorded with three domūs or houses, amongst which the House of the Two Treasures is particularly interesting, with its atrium and a main façade that overlooks an arcaded street of which some columns are preserved.

The Forum: Located in the centre of the city, this linked all of the political and commercial life. The presence of a Capitoline temple dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, as well as two of lesser importance, is particularly interesting as this conferred the status of city. In this district there is also an area with tavernae and small businesses, a market and various arcaded streets.

The Theatre: This is located in the outskirts of the city, to the south, where the itinerary comes to an end. It is carved from the rock. The cavea or stands, with ten terraces, the orchestra and the stage, where the plays would be performed are preserved. It is thought that it would have had a capacity of between 600 and 800 people, a figure that could be expanded to a thousand with the addition of wooden stands.

Will you come and discover Roman Mallorca at this archaeological site in Alcúdia?