Termantia, Montejo de Tiermes, Soria.
 
Vista general de Tiermes
General view of Tiermes

 
This Sorian deposit was called the Spanish Pompeia, because of its fame and its remainings belonging to different ages:
 
There are few remainings from Neolithic on Tiermes, but at Bronze Age there was already a permanent population called Carratiermes.
 
Celtiberian age -Arevacan in this case- implies an establishment of this village after excavating complex houses on the limestone and elevating a necropolis.
Casa rupestre con escalera.
Rock house with a staircase.

 
Under Roman Empire its golden days were developped: there were important buildings and houses.
 
Later, until it was left at 16th century, many necropolis were founded (Visigothic, Medieval...). There is an hermitage called Saint Mary of Tiermes and remainings of a Monastery lost today.
 
In short, we have a rich and varied scene to visit, though spoilt over the centuries. A great part of the lost materials were used for buildings of close villages. In spite of all, many elements that composed constructions have survived, thanks to collected sediments.
 
Celtiberian age
 
Founded ca. 6th century b.C., Arevacan tribes built a castra on the top of the hill. Unfortunately only a tower survives. The other construction of its age: the rock rows or the houses excavated on the limestone, surely suffered deep changes during Roman domination.
Graderío rupestre
Rock rows.
We should point out to:
  • Rock rows. Construction is composed of rows carved on the stone, following its structure. It had a public use and was probably made by Arevacans. Then, it would be used as a theatre until our days.
     
  • “Rock houses of Taracena” and "of the Hornacinas". These are constructions made on sandrock in order to get shelter from hard and cool Sorian weather. They have one or two floors, even can get a cellar. Holes for keeping beams supporting covers do remain. They could have been constructed by Arevacans, but Roman modification is clear.

 
Roman Age
 
Puerta del sol
Sun Door
Arevacan castra was clearly enemy to Romanst, as every castra in this Celtiberian area. It resisted for a long time (Celtiberian wars), but Consul Titus Didius took the city on 98 b.C.
 
From this moment an urbanistic plan, that gave the city the condition of municipium, was developped.
 
Following structures are outstanding:
  • Sun Door. Called so because of its Eastern location. It is a corridor between rocks that still show marks of its supportings. It has been frequently used until our days.
    Acueducto
    Aqueduct
    Press to enlarge

     
  • Western Door. Similar to Sun Door, it has a more difficult access because of being on a slope. This door had a strategic value for the city.
     
  • Termae. Some impressive remainings of a building have been supossed to be some termae. A still standing corner from one of the rooms and floors decorated with mosaics prove it.
     
  • Insula or neighbourhood house. As shows its name, it was a building for different families, with several floors and a patio. Only a carved on rock wall of 25 m. high, that shows the marks of the different floors, does remain.
     
  • Aqueduct. This hydraulic work for supplying the city with drinkable water is the most important engineering work. There are many sections excavated on the stone. The lost parts should be exterior.
     
  • Tanks of water "Castellum Aquae". For supplying with drinkable water.
     
    Castellum Aquae
    Castellum Aquae and general view
    Press to enlarge
  • House of the Aqueduct. Typical Roman house with a classic shape. It is about 2.000 m2. It was built between 1st and 2nd centuries. As topography was not plain, different levels joined by stairs were built. At the center, there was the noble area with impluvium and peristilum. Around it, rooms with wall paintings: they show animal, vegetable and human shapes. At the western side there were rooms for service; at the southern one, private rooms of the landlord, with another impluvium and more rooms: one of them is almost 110 m2.
     
  • Temple. Placed on the superior part of the hill. These are the remainings of a Roman construction elevated on the Arevacan castra.
     
  • Imperial Comitium Defined by the sculptorical remainings found in it: a Tiberius' bust, an Apollo and a riding statue, among others. It was a great building: its measures are difficult to set because of its almost total destruction.
     
  • Market. Composed by a sum of 19 shops -tabernae-, all similar: about 3 x 4 m.
     
  • Wall. The whole city was not walled. Today, about 220 m. of 4 m. thick have survived. Between them there are 4 basements for square towers. There were two files of ashlars full of rubbish material and lime mortar that became solid and resilient.

 
Casa del Acueducto
Stairs of the House of the Aqueduct
Tiendas
Shops
Esquina de la Termas
Corner of the Termae

Necrópolis en el exterior del ábside
Necropolis at the exterior apse
Press to enlarge
 
Visigothic Age
 
There are remainings of the necropolis that let us suposse it was placed by the Roman comitium close to the Romanic hermitage.
 
Middle Ages
 
After Counter-conquest a new Romanic hermitage and a Monastery were built at 12th century. The latter is lost but the former is today preserved.
 
  • Hermitage of Saint Mary of Tiermes
     
    Its plan is very single: one nave with a semicircular apse. A porticated gallery was lately added with five frontal gates and a lateral one. The central communicates with the lateral door of the hermitage. It is composed by archivolts with a semicircular arch supporte by columns separated by walls. These capitals are carved: one shows images of Adam and Eve; the other, one Arab and two animals.
     
    Vista general de la ermita.
    General view of the Hermitage.
    Detalle de la pila del interior de la Ermita
    Detail of the sink in the inner of the Hermitage.

    Semicircular archs in the gallery are supported by capitals of double columns that end on a podium. These capitals are the most outstanding of the whole. They represent different subjects: mythology, military life, hunting and geometric shapes.

Ermita de Sta. María de Tiermes
General view of the Hermitage.
Imagenes del iterior del pórtico
Beheaded images in the inner of the portico.
Galería porticada de Sta. María de Tiermes
Porticated gallery of Saint Mary of Tiermes
Press to enlarge