The Roman Villa of Bruñel

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The Roman Villa of Bruñel

Inside a Roman villa

Bruñel is a typical example of the Roman villas that began to appear during the decline of the Roman Empire.


The majority of such buildings would have been used as second homes when the Empire was at the height of its power, although the crisis of the 3rd century and the danger of living in the cities caused many senior noblemen to retire to their villas. When these villas thus became full-time residences they were equipped with all the pertinent luxuries and refinements, which today survive in the form of elaborate mosaics and the bottom sections of the walls of the different rooms. Next to the main building there would have been other, minor structures such as stables, forges, potteries; essentially, everything one would need in order to be self-sufficient while living far away from the city. As time passed, the cities became less important places and had to be protected from external threats with walls, while the cultural activities they once nurtured were extinguished.

If we know next to nothing about the inhabitants of these luxurious sites, we know even less about the people who abandoned the cities in order to seek refuge in them. They would have helped defend the villas in exchange for permission to cultivate a small patch of land, on which they would have grown just enough to feed themselves. This practice gave rise to the culture of vassalage in the Middle Ages. Nor do we know the identity of the artisans who laid out these grand mosaics, or anything about the conditions they lived in. Did they know what the images they made with the tiles represented? Did the last people to occupy the villa know, at the end of the 14th century?


MUSEUMS AND VISITOR CENTRES

Plaza de Armas Farm, Kilometre 6 on the Cazorla-Quesada road, Bruñel
23480 Quesada Jaén (Spain)
Tel: 953 733 050
Tel 2: 953 714 008

Aldea


Municipality code: 23073
Longitude: -3,07
Latitude: 37,84
X coordinates: 37° 50,66'
Y coordinates: 03° 04,43'
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