The roman columns in Mármoles Street in the San Bartolomé district of Seville are a clear example of the great impression left by the Romans during their stay in the city of Hispalis.

These Roman columns also show us where the nerve centre of the city would have been during the domination of the Roman Empire. The Plaza de la Alfalfa was probably the “forum” of the city.

In the 16th century, six Roman columns were found in what is now Calle Mármoles, one of the highest places in the city, three of which can still be seen in their original location

The origin of the columns

After different studies it is believed that they are from the time of the late Emperor Trajan, early Hadrian. That would mean the second century after Christ.

Many investigations have been made about the origin of the columns. They could have been the portico of a temple or part of a Roman temple.

A more recent research tell us that the present location of the columns are part of some plundering, brought here and reused for the construction of some palace. It is believed that they could have come from the Traianeum of Italica.

Two of them were moved in 1574 to the Alameda de Hércules. Two sculptures were placed on the columns: one of Hercules, mythical founder of the city, and the other of Julius Caesar restorer of Hysphalis.

Those two sculptures also represent the two kings of the new Spanish monarchy : King Charles I as Hercules and Philip II as Julius Caesar . These two columns are surely the best preserved. They also became part of the city’s coat of arms .

One of the remaining columns was broken during its transfer from Mármoles Street to the Alcazar and therefore its remains were abandoned on the current Mateos Gago Street.

The other three are the ones we can currently see at Mármoles Street. The latter were hidden in the courtyard of a house until the city council bought it and demolished it in 1886. The Roman columns are made of Egyptian granite with an approximate height of 9 meters.

From Show me Seville we accompany you to discover the Roman past of our city!

Translated with (free version)

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