Type: Attractions, Free Attractions, Historic Sites, Unusual
Every March for three only the public is allowed access to one of the most remarkable historical sites in Portugal â" the Roman Galleries. On this rare occasion, the Lisbon authorities unlock a... Read More
Every March for three only the public is allowed access to one of the most remarkable historical sites in Portugal â" the Roman Galleries. On this rare occasion, the Lisbon authorities unlock a trap door embedded in Rua da Prata 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: "Ignore the "Permanently Closed" Google notice. The galleries are accessible for three days in March, but are closed for the rest of the year. To secure a visit you'll need to inscribe yourself beforehand on the Museu de Lisboa website. Call the tourism office number listed here for more information."
- Best for Historic Sites Because: A unique feature of Roman Lisbon, the galleries remain one of the most unusual and least publicized of visitor attractions.