The archaeological site of Torreparedones, also known as Castro el Viejo or Torre de las Vírgenes, is located between the municipalities of Baena and Castro del Río, at an elevation of 579.60 meters above sea level, which makes it rightly considered as the roof of the Campiña de Córdoba. Its privileged situation, controlling a vast extension of the territory, led to the fact that the settlement was inhabited for more than 3,500 years , from the Chalcolithic to the Late Middle Ages. . Subsequently, during the Modern Age, different scholars were interested in the ruins that still stood imposingly on the top of the hill, but it would not be until late in the contemporary era when a fortuitous discovery in 1833 highlighted the magnitude and importance of the site. The so-called Mausoleum of the Pompeyos had been discovered , a monumental hypogeal tomb that attracted the attention of all who visited the enclave. However, this circumstance did not prevent the site from being forgotten again for more than a century and a half until, at the end of the 1980s, the University of Oxford in collaboration with the Complutense University of Madrid, carried out different excavation campaigns framed within the framework of what is known as “The Guadajoz Project“. The results obtained, with the full identification of a sanctuary , were spectacular. The publications followed one another and the first archaeological museum that the city had was created. Along these lines, the Baenense city council would later acquire a large part of the land where the ancient city was located. An intense excavation process began that uncovered numerous and relevant archaeological remains, most of them Iberian and Roman . The macellum (market), several baths , the Forum Square surrounded by buildings so relevant and well preserved that some media began to call the site as the «Cordovan Pompeii .
Registered as an Asset of Cultural Interest in November 2007, it opened its doors to the public on January 17, 2011 and since then new interventions and restoration processes have been taking place that make it one of the most relevant archaeological sites in Andalusia
The Milky Way from the Torreparedones forum
Medieval castle in Torreparedones
La Bética , whose name came from the Latin Baetis, Betis – current Guadalquivir River -, was one of the most important Roman provinces where the existing city of Torreparedones was located. With its capital in the Patricia Corduba Colony, it made great economic, cultural and political contributions to the Empire . In the first case, mining (with extraction of gold, silver, copper and lead) and agriculture were very significant, thanks to the production and export of cereals, oil and wine, the latter two especially famous throughout the Empire. together with the garum. From the political point of view, the high degree of Romanization that the province achieved led to it depending directly on the Senate and not on the military power of the emperor. In it, the decisive Battle of Munda was fought between popularis and optimates , supporters of Caesar and Pompey , respectively. In addition, it gave Rome the emperors Trajan and Hadrian , natives of Itálica , and the Cordoban philosopher Seneca , among many other important figures.
On a notable elevation, surrounded by infinite fields of olive groves, the ruins of the ancient city that existed in Torreparedones continue to evoke its ancient history.