Aquis Querquennis

The Roman Fort - AquisQuerquennis 3D

THE ROMAN FORT

On the banks of the Limia River (Porto Quintela), half sunk in the Las Conchas Reservoir, lies the fascinating encampment known as Aquis Querquennis, once housing Roman legions for the purpose of either building the famous “Via Nova” road (connecting Braga to Astorga) or of colonizing what in the past had been untamed and inhospitable lands. It was built in 69-79 AD and abandoned circa 120 AD.

The total area spanned by the enclosure is close to 25,000 square meters, accommodating roughly 500 legionnaires, along with an auxiliary cavalry squadron.

The layout and elevation of the structures were organized in grids along the two main roads and placed perpendicular to each other. Oriented along cardinal directions, or cardo (N-S) and decumanus (E-W), they were constructed in keeping with an orthogonal layout common to other encampments of the era, with some minor variations. In any event, the structural elements unearthed to date, in whole or in part, include the following: the Principia, or headquarters, two large “horreos”, or granaries, for the storage of non-perishable produce, the Valetudinarium (hospital), five troop barracks, streets and drainage channels, as well as the defensive system (comprising the wall with its towers, the porta pincipalis sinistra (left main door), the decum porta (south door), the small fosse section, and the intervallum, or perimeter road, also referred to as the sagularis).

Aquis Querquennis - Virtual Recreation

Aquis Querquennis - Virtual Recreation

The total area spanned by the enclosure is close to 25,000 square meters, accommodating roughly 500 legionnaires, along with an auxiliary cavalry squadron.

A few meters from the encampment lies the road mansion. This would be the third one on the road from Braga. In it there are several rooms which would be used to accommodate travelers who transited the Roman road as well as stables for cavalry horses. One can also find the oven used for baking bread, along with a circular well. A recessed access lobby can also be seen.

Very close to the road mansion lies a hot spring, known as O Baño. In it there are several stone swimming pools and bathtubs, vestiges of a spa that was in operation until the construction of the aforementioned Las Conchas Reservoir. Roman baths ought to be found here, but they have not yet been excavated.