Headquarters and Museum of the Archaeological Ensemble of Baelo Claudia
The Institutional and Visitor Centre at the Archaeological Ensemble of Baelo Claudia was inaugurated in December 2007. It was designed by the architect Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra.
The building has a reception area and administrative centre, as well as exhibition, museum, restoration and storage areas to hold the numerous artefacts from the excavations conducted at the archaeological site since the beginning of the 20th century. It also has a library specialising in the Roman world, a lecture room and a scientific archive consisting of extensive documentation arising from investigations at Baelo Claudia.
The exhibition space comprises two permanent exhibitions rooms and another one for temporary exhibitions. The permanent exhibition rooms are situated in a double height area and are illuminated from the top by a courtyard which runs lengthwise along the south side of the space; from here visitors can appreciate a bird's eye view of the Bay of Bolonia.
After entering and visiting these rooms, the tour continues with the temporary exhibition room, a more dynamic environment leads directly to the Roman city.
The top floor of the museum area provides a general overview of the city. It therefore has a model of Baelo Claudia with an explanatory panel that sets the city within its geographical context. In the corridor is a display case that uses text and interactive features to demonstrate the legal and administrative organisation of Baelo Claudia, the main cities and routes of communication in Hispania, and the city's evolution.
Completing this first section and serving as an introduction to the museum area is the "Piece of the Month". Situated next to the entrance, this is a regularly updated display of the items in the Baelo Claudia collections.
The ground floor is a large, elongated space focusing on Baelo Claudia as a Hispano-Roman city. This section links together the various themes which offer visitors different perspectives of the Roman city.
This ground-floor space comprises two areas separated by a large, transversal panel: the first section is double-height, while the second section has a lower ceiling.
The first room or exhibition area is larger and contains the section featuring religion, urban planning and the economy.
Religion and the funerary world are represented at the end of the room, where there is a varied collection of grave goods and funerary items, including several votive plaques dedicated to Isis.
The central part of this room contains artefacts relating to the decorative arts. Consequently, art, sculpture and architecture are the protagonists of the display dedicated to urban planning and architecture. The monumental presence of a column from the city's basilica looms particularly large in this section.
The Baelo economy is exemplified at the front of the room by a series of amphorae and instruments associated with fishing, the basis of the city's flourishing economy.
Beyond this room, the second exhibition area on the ground floor explores society and daily life, featuring the recreation of a domestic space and the main epigraphic finds from the city.
Next comes the temporary exhibitions room, where the subject matter is regularly updated, making this the most dynamic area in the centre.
SPECIALIST LIBRARY AT THE BAELO CLAUDIA ARCHAEOLOGICAL ENSEMBLE
The specialist library at Baelo Claudia fulfils an important function at the Archaeological Ensemble's New Institutional Site by providing documents and information for experts and general users with its extensive bibliography from the classical Roman world.
The subject matter of the collections focuses on Roman and theoretical archaeology, classical architecture, engineering, economy, Roman daily life and society, classical religion, the history of Rome, Latin inscriptions, coins and Roman archaeological remains from various parts of Europe and North Africa. In addition, the library has a large number of monographs from other periods such as prehistory, protohistory and the Middle Ages.
The library offers documentation from institutional journals of the Regional Ministry of Culture and other national publications, as well as reviews and exclusive monographs dedicated in part to the Archaeological Ensemble of Baelo Claudia.
The facilities provide ample room for reading, a reprographics service as well as a bibliographic and documentation information service by the technical staff and an interlibrary lending service. The reference catalogue is included in the general listing of the Network of Public Libraries of Andalusia: http://www.ccul.junta-andalucia.es/absys/abnopac/