Municipal (20, 10€) Molino de Pan Caliente, turn left after crossing the Roman Bridge / Puente Romano, the albergue is past the new bridge, to the left of the road beside the river. Contact details posted on the door. Tel 682 514 366 Open 11:30
Hostal Senero at Calle Holguín 12, has been recommended, singles from 28€, doubles 35€. Tel 924 317 207. Website www.hostalsenero.com Tel 924 317 207
Mérida, with a population of 57,000, is the capital of the Autonomous Community of Extremadura. All facilities are available. Supermarket on Calle Jesé R Mélide, open seven days. Banks on Plaza de España and along Calle F Valverde Lillo which runs north from it. Restaurant Mesón El Pestoreje on Plaza de España has excellent tapas and raciones. Vegetarian restaurant Shangri-La on Calle Sagasta has been recommended. For Vegan food (and cats) Casa Tierra has also been recommended, it's on Calle Sagasta. Also good reports of Casa Nano on Calle Castelar.
Mérida was founded by the Romans in the first century BC and named Emerita Augusta. To this day it has many well-preserved relics of its Roman history. The Roman Bridge / Puente Romano, which you will cross when arriving is, at 790m, the longest Roman bridge still in existence. At its northern end is the Alcazaba, a fortification built by the Muslims. The Roman Theatre dates from 15BC and is considered one of the best preserved examples in existence. Nearby the well-preserved amphitheatre was the scene of gladiatorial combats and other popular entertainment. It could hold 16,000 spectators. The Circus, which was used for horse and carriage racing, could hold 30,000 spectators. The Museum of Roman Art is housed in a Roman-themed modern building and has a good collection of mosaics, statues and other artefacts. There are also several temples to Roman Gods, such as the Temple of Diana. Mérida also has a world famous Aqueduct which the Camino passes on its way out of town.
Mérida is a fairly compact city and all of these sights are in or near the city centre. More information from www.turismomerida.org
Leaving town on the Camino, Bar Acueducto opens at 06:30 (07:00 on Sundays). A few metres further on the left is a 24h pharmacy.
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