Rome’s interest in Galicia was related to the region’s mining possibilities.
After several explorations and a war of conquest that lasted one hundred years, the whole north-west of Spain became part of Roman Spain.
In the first century A.D., Julius Caesar and Octavius Augustus came to Galicia the former on a naval expedition which took him from Coruña to England and, many years later, Augustus, to impose the “Pax Romana” on the area.
The Romans gave it the name of Galicia (Gallaecia).
The marks left by Rome on Galicia are to be seen on its roadmap.
The commercialisation of the region’s metal-mining criss-crossed the area with roads, such as the Via Nova in Ourense province, bridges such as the Bibei bridge, and stone monolith “milestones”.
Roads crossed the north west between Astorga, Coruña and Braga, in Portugal. Galician ports also served as a link for the Roman fleets with the pewter-producing isles (England).
The Roman lighthouse in Coruña, known as the Tower of Hercules, bears witness to these crossings, and is the world’s oldest working lighthouse.
Lugo (Lucus Augusti) is privileged still to possess its Roman city walls.
Built during the late Empire, with fifty cubes and over two kilometres long, they have been declared a World Heritage Site.
Another thing that made Galicia attractivive to the Romans was its waters and thermal springs, which led to spas and thermae such as Lugo, towns like Ourense and to pagan temples dedicated to the nymphs, like in Santalla de Bóveda (Sta. Eulalia).