Under the floor of the Hospital San Juan: Roman Circus

The identification of a Roman circus in the basement of Valencia, It is the most striking and unexpected finding that has taken place in the city. It was made possible by a continuous and systematic work of urban archeology, developed between 1987 and 1997. Until then, no historical evidence, epigraphic, town, toponímico the archaeological, He indicated that they had been chariot races in Valentia.

In the northern courtyard floor, before entering the temple, are on the floor bronze four parallel lines, They are the layout of the Roman walls that supported the stands of "Circus of Valentia". It was built in the third century D.C. Its dimension is approximately 300 meters long 70 Wide (from the Square of Naples and Sicily to the back street of the College of Corpus Christi or Patriarca), He could accommodate 10.000 viewers.

On the other hand, in the Crypt of Santa Barbara, in the background, the west wall of the spina of the Roman circus was found; the east wall of the spina is hidden, It served as foundation to the side of the crypt. Several Roman and medieval building elements: barefoot novel, caps sarcophagus and discoid stele, They served to raise the walls of the crypts. With all that information is completed, along with the steps found in the north courtyard, (and other external remains to set) They served to determine the metric of the Roman Circus Valencia, according to the research and study of the archaeologist Albert Ribera.

After years of limitation for visiting this finding, It is now open to the public. In the South Patio, It is accessed, with a hydraulic system that opens the slab-, some stairs that have been adapted to protect visitors from a fall, and to be trodden spina. It was necessary to think about proper lighting, put explanatory cartouches, standardize access, In one word: museumization space.

This morning was held a ceremony of opening blessing chaired by D. Manuel de Sancristoval, who he was rector of the church in the years since the discovery of the crypt, and D. Carlos Cremades, current rector. They were accompanied by Herminio Tortajada, that he was vice president of the Foundation and Manager of the church and also for Elías Pérez who took care of the maintenance of the complex for many years. They accompanied the architect J. G. Valdecabres and D. Jesus Gil, señalética author of the recently placed in the enclosure, and guides the church and friends. After the blessing of the crypt has come down to see her better.

Read the full story of the unexpected finding of the spina of the Roman Circus Valentia: https://sanjuandelhospital.es/un-hallazgo-inesperado-la-spina-del-circo-romano-de-valentia/

Visiting hours Al Patio on (CEMENTERIO medieval):

  • Visits all year, working: of 10.30 a 13.30h.
  • From September to June, afternoons: Tuesday and Thursday 17 a 18.30h. First Sunday of the month 11 a 13h.

Under the floor of the Hospital San Juan: Roman Circus. March 2019

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