Every year for one weekend in September the public is allowed access to one of the most remarkable historical sites in Portugal – the Roman Galleries. On this rare occasion, the Lisbon authorities... Read More
Every year for one weekend in September the public is allowed access to one of the most remarkable historical sites in Portugal – the Roman Galleries. On this rare occasion, the Lisbon authorities unlock a trap door imbedded in Rua da Conceição in the city's Baixa district that is the entrance to a subterranean labyrinth of Roman-era vaulted galleries. The purpose behind the network of perpendicular chambers remains a mystery. Dated from around the 1st century AD, archaeologists believe the arched passages were used as a storage facility, though others argue they could be the foundations of the Forum, or even a system of thermal springs used to supply wells for the Roman populace. The tunnels are normally flooded, but once a year the fire brigade drains the compartments in order to facilitate the thousands of visitors that queue up for hours for a glimpse of this beguiling underground tourist attraction.
- Historic Sites: "The galleries are accessible for three days only usually during the last week of September from 10am to 6pm. Turn up very early to beat the crowds."
- Best for Historic Sites Because: A unique feature of Roman Lisbon, the galleries remain one of the most unusual and certainly the least publicised of visitor attractions.