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AQUAE FLAVIAE (Chaves) Trás-os-Montes, Portugal.

The modern city is the site of a Roman municipium. The only remains are many inscriptions and the bridge across the Tâmega, completed under Trajan (A.D. 104). It is 140 m long and has 18 arches, six of which are now almost completely underground. An inscription from the time of Vespasian preserved in the bridge (it is not certain how it came to be there) records the fact that ten people of the region contributed to a great work which cannot be certainly identified. Could it be the bridge itself? Or the road from Bracara to Asturica for which the bridge must have been a crossing?

Aquae Flaviae derived its importance from the road and from its medicinal springs. There seem to have been two baths outside the fortifications, one to the S at the site of Tabolado, another to the N, in the vicinity of the fort of S. Vicente. The street of Santo Antonio is perhaps aligned along an aqueduct, no longer visible, which once fed the N baths. The mediaeval fortifications may follow the plan of the Roman ones, or they may be only a reconstruction of them. The Largo da Principal may correspond to the forum, and some of the streets preserve the alignment of the Roman ones.


A. C. Ribeiro Carvalho, Chaves Antiga (1929); M. Cardozo, Algumas inscrições lusitano-romanas da região de Chaves (1943); A. Montalvão Machado, “Permanece a urbanística de Aquae Flaviae?” Conimbriga 11 (1972) 35-39P.


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