For Americans, we expect to see Roman ruins in Rome, of course, but overlook the bonus of discovery of Roman ruins in other parts of the Roman world throughout the greater Mediterannean. Merida, Spain has very well preserved Roman ruins, as this building shows.
This is instantly recognizable as the Greco-Roman archetecture of an ampitheater. It is unusual to find a double layer of the backdrop to the stage still standing, as is the case in Merida, Spain.
What would a Roman city be without an arena? Merida was the Roman headquarters for this region. It made a perfect stop on our drive from Lisbon to Madrid.
This is the view of the stage that would have greeted theater goers as they entered the ampitheater to take their seats.
Leaving the ancient Roman ruins in Merida, this is a view from about half way up the Giralda bell tower of the gigantic cathedral in Seville, or Sevilla, Spain. The cupula and room adornments of another part of the cathedral is visible in the foreground. Beyond on the left are the walls and courtyards of the Alcazar, the Royal Palace in Seville.
This is a view from the top of the Giralda tower down to the old part of Seville. The Giralda was originally a Moorish minaret, but it was converted into the bell tower when the grand mosque was converted into a cathedral after the Spanish defeated the Moors.