Sagunto: Hannibal was ‘ere

The ancient town of Arse (yes, really) was renamed Saguntum by the Romans. Then in the 3rd century BC, the Carthaginians, led by Hannibal Barca, tried to realign it (as a Carthaginian city). This didn’t go down too well, hence the Second Punic War.

The Roman Theatre is remarkable – it has been extensively renovated, and perhaps not to everyone’s taste (the Lonely Planet calls it ‘over-restored’.  As you can see, it is rather strikingly new-looking; but they have kept unrestored sections at the sides of the seating, and columns here and there on the stage building.

In any case, it sparks a discussion about the best way to preserve the memories of ancient buildings – should one always keep them as close to how they have fallen, or try to make them shiny and new for a new life in the modern age? Most people would probably fall somewhere between these two, of course. Sagunto is leaning towards the latter. Clearly it’s very much still in use, though!


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