Know to value and thus preserve and protect
Aquis Querquennis, colloquially known as A cidá (in Galician “the city”), is a Roman archaeological complex formed by a Roman camp and a road-mansion, located in the parish of Baños de Bande, in the province of Ourense, on the banks of the Limia river in the Las Conchas reservoir. The camp was established at the site for the construction of Via XVIII or Via Nova, a road that connected Bracara Augusta and Asturica Augusta. Occupied between the last quarter of the first century until the twenties of the second. The mansion-road was a lodging of travelers in the mentioned road, occupied in the II – III centuries. In the month of September of the year 2018 it was declared a Property of Cultural Interest (BIC).
A pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela crosses the place, known as “Ruta da Rainha Santa”, name due to the pilgrimage made by Isabel of Portugal, in the fourteenth century and followed in later centuries by numerous pedestrians. This route coincides in its initial section to Bande with the aforementioned Roman road: Vía Nova and is to be claimed as a “Jacobean road” by various associations in the region.
In the place is the Interpretation Center Aquae Querquennae-Vía Nova, which houses a museum and several explanatory rooms of the archaeological complex.
Discovery and excavation of the camp
The first surveys were carried out by Florentino López Cuevillas in the 1920s, after visiting the premises on June 5, 1921 with Ramón Otero Pedrayo, Vicente Risco and the lawyer of Bande Farruco Pena. In 1949 it was flooded under the Las Conchas reservoir in Fenosa. This company authorized the excavations from 1975, under the direction of Antonio Rodríguez Colmenero for twenty years, focusing especially on the northwest quadrant. Today they continue under the hand of Santiago Ferrer Sierra.
The camp, which occupied an area of 2.5 hectares, was surrounded by a rectangular wall and rounded corners. In the same square quadrangular defensive towers stood out between the doors and in the corners. The wall was built with small granite perpians, attached to bone (embedded without cement), was 3.20 m wide and about 5 m high, and was topped by semi-cylindrical battlements. The defensive system also had a V-shaped outer pit, 5 meters wide and approximately 3 meters deep. It had four monumental doors, from which the Principalis Sinistra (main door on the left side) and the Decumana, on the west side were excavated. The Principalis had two holes, one entry and one exit. The Decumana was similar, but with a single opening. The defensive system is completed with the 11 m wide interval, a safety space without constructions between the wall and the first line of buildings.
The road mansion
A few meters from the camp is the road mansion. It would be the third since Braga. In it there are several rooms, which would be used to accommodate travelers who traveled the Roman route and as stables for the cavalries. An oven was also found to bake bread and a circular well. There is also a tiled lobby to access it.
Very close to the inn is a hot spring area, known as O Baño. In it there are several pools and stone bathtubs, which are vestiges of a spa that worked until the construction of the aforementioned Las Conchas reservoir. In the place would be the Roman baths, but they have not yet been excavated.