For those of us who write historical novels, nothing is more exciting than a visit to the places we write about. Although I have not yet written a novel set in Roman times, I thought I would share the photos of my recent trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Tipaza in the hope that another author might find them useful or inspiring.
Looking out over the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, it's easy to see why Phoenicians decided to build their city here. Tipaza became a Roman colony during the time of the emperor Claudius.
The sea breeze and abundant shade trees make for a pleasant stroll through the city, even on the hottest summer days.
You can still sit in the amphitheater and imagine the plays.
This is a backstage dressing room.
And the stairs leading into the theater. The man in red was our expert tour guide who was kind enough to take us through the entire site even though it was closing time.
The most interesting things at the site are the details. This urn (above) could have stored water, oil, or grains. Throughout Tipaza there are bits of mosaic and red paint which give some notion of how colorful the city must have been.
In the roads, there are trenches which carried hot water to the buildings from a geothermal source. There are also places where ruts made by chariot wheels have survived 2000 years.
The squares carved into the stone are where door hinges would attach.
The arch above is one of many ovens on the site.
These are the ruins of the Basilica of Saint Salsa, which is named for a 4th century Christian woman who was stoned to death after throwing a serpent head idol into the sea. Notice the mosaic in the foreground.
There is also a stele of Albert Camus at the site. The tomb of Cleopatra's daughter is not far from Tipaza.
I would love to hear your historical travel stories. Do you like to visit ancient ruins? What is the oldest place you've ever visited and what was your favorite thing about it?