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Roman Temple of Diana in Mérida

templo romano diana merida

The Temple of Diana in Mérida, located in the heart of the ancient Roman city of Emerita Augusta, is one of the best preserved vestiges of majestic Roman architecture in Spain.

Did you know that this temple was never actually dedicated to the goddess Diana? It is believed that it was actually dedicated to the imperial cult, possibly to the emperor Augustus.

This building stands not only as a monument that bears witness to the greatness of the Roman Empire, but also as a mirror of the past that reflects the cultural and architectural richness of Mérida.

We discover the Roman Temple of Diana, with its curiosities and information on visits.

The Roman Temple of Diana: Living Heritage of Mérida

You can buy your ticket to the Temple of Diana online here.

Located in the heart of Mérida, the Roman Temple of Diana is one of the most impressive architectural examples on the Iberian Peninsula. Renowned for being the best-preserved temple in the region, this monument is not only a relic of history, but also a living testimony to the different stages through which the city has passed.

Originally, this building was the main temple during Roman Merida. However, with the passing of time and political and cultural changes, its function was transformed.

During the Visigothic and Islamic eras, it was reused, becoming a symbol of power and prestige. In the Renaissance, a noble family decided to adopt it as a palace, paying homage to the glorious classical past of Mérida. This decision, in addition to being a status symbol, played a crucial role in the preservation of the building.

Until 1972, the temple served as a home for a Meritense family, after which it was acquired by the state. From that date, intensive excavation and restoration work began, culminating in the declaration of the temple as a World Heritage Site.

In addition to its historical and architectural importance, the Temple of Diana has been the stage for many events and performances, as part of the Merida Theatre Festival and the book fair.

This temple, although commonly attributed to the goddess Diana, owes its name to a comparison made in 1633 by the historian Moreno de Vargas. Comparing it to the Artemison (dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis, equivalent to the Roman Diana), he baptised it in this way, and although it was later determined that the temple was not dedicated to Diana, the name had already become part of the local imaginary.

More than a monument, the Temple of Diana is a meeting space and a living example of what Mérida represents: a living heritage, still relevant and vibrant, where history meets the present and shapes the future.

Interesting facts and figures

  1. Location and Context.
    • The Temple of Diana is surprisingly located in the streets of Mérida.
    • It is located near the remains of another monumental enclosure from the 1st century AD.
  2. Wrong Name.
    • Although it is known as the “Temple of Diana”, it was never actually dedicated to Diana, the goddess hunter and protector of nature.
    • In reality, it was dedicated to the imperial cult, possibly to the Emperor Augustus.
  3. Architecture.
    • The church has columns with fluted shafts and Corinthian capitals.
    • There is a line of frontal columns decorated with a stone arch similar to the “marbles” of Augustóbriga.
    • The architectural pieces are made of granite from quarries near Mérida.
    • The granite was originally covered with red stucco to add distinction.
  4. History and Evolution.
    • The Temple of Diana is one of the few remains of a religious temple still preserved in Mérida.
    • The temple is believed to have been dedicated to the worship of Emperor Augustus.
    • During the 16th century, part of the structure of the temple was used to build the Palace of the Count of Corbos.
    • In the Palacio de los Corbos you can see an interpretation centre on the history of the temple.
  5. Heritage of Humanity.
    • The temple has been declared a World Heritage Site as part of the Conjunto Arqueológico de Mérida.
  6. Archaeological Research.
    • In 1972, sculptures found during excavations revealed that the temple was dedicated to Rome and the emperor, and not to the goddess Diana.
  7. Cultural and Events.
    • The temple is an important place for the culture of Mérida, being the scene of some of the activities of Emerita Lvdica.
  8. Visit to the Temple.
    • The outside of the Temple of Diana is free of charge.
    • The Interpretation Centre inside the Palacio de los Corbos has an entrance fee, but is free for certain groups.

Prices for guided tours at the Temple of Diana

Type of entry.Precio
General Admission16.5€
Reduced Entry8.5€
Free admission0€
Secondary Education Groups (CA Extremadura)3.2€
Group ticket (Minimum 20 people)9€

Temple Visit Fees and Discounts.

The entrance to the Ensemble without a Theatre-Amphitheatre Guide offers different prices depending on the visitor’s profile:

  • General ticket (16.5€): This ticket is valid for any day, provided it is used only once per monument, respecting the opening and closing times.
  • Reduced admission (8.5€): It is aimed at minors between 13 and 17 years old, youth or student card holders (up to 25 years old), over 65s, pensioners, large families, people with disabilities and teachers accompanying secondary school groups from outside Extremadura (only for EU citizens).
  • Free admission (€0): For children under 12 years of age, holders of the Mecenas card, acting guides and researchers, residents of Mérida and teachers accompanying groups of infant and primary school children.
  • Secondary Education Groups from the Autonomous Community of Extremadura (3.2€): Special rate for secondary education groups from the Autonomous Community of Extremadura and their accompanying teachers.
  • Group ticket (9€): For groups of at least 20 people, both at the time of purchase and during the subsequent visit.

It is important to choose the tariff that best suits the characteristics and needs of the visitor in order to fully enjoy the Ensemble without a Theatre-Amphitheatre Guide.

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to visit the temple of Diana?

The visit to the Temple of Diana in Mérida is free of charge, as it is an open-air monument located in the historic centre of the city. On the other hand, if you are interested in a guided tour, you can consult the prices we have specified above.

Is access to the temple free of charge?

Yes, the Temple of Diana can be accessed free of charge at any time of the day, as there are no controls or restrictions.

What are the opening hours of the Roman temple of Diana?

There are no set opening hours for the Temple of Diana site, as it is a public space open 24 hours a day.

Are there guided tours that show the Temple of Diana in Merida?

Of course! Check out the best guided tours in Merida.

What is the exact location?

The Temple of Diana is located at Calle Romero Leal s/n, 06800 Mérida, Spain. It can be reached on foot from the Plaza de España or from the Portico del Foro, which are very close by. You can see the location on the map here.

More of Mérida’s historical heritage