The Arde Lucus festival was established in 2002 with the core aim of commemorating the founding of the city of Lugo through a recreation of its Roman past. Linked to the summer solstice, this event combines entertainment and culture with the utmost historical accuracy. For three days each year, the walled area of the town is transformed into Lucus Augusti, a prominent city in Roman Gallaecia, offering visitors a varied programme of activities.
The city walls play a special role during the festival, as do the local residents, who form an active part of the festive atmosphere, taking to the streets in Roman or pre-Roman attire. In addition to the historical reenactment, Lucus Augusti offers participants a fine selection of Lugo cuisine.
The town council, residents, historical reenactment associations and various private organizations have made it possible for Arde Lucus to achieve strong growth since its first edition. The festival currently receives half a million visitors.
The quintessential gathering spot, the Macellum (market), is a constant throng of activity. The Praza Maior (main square) is the ideal place to travel back to the 1st century. Even the Cohors I Lucensium sets up camp in this square, protecting the safety of the empire's citizens.
Another must-see spot for visitors to Arde Lucus is the camp where legionaries and gladiators, people from Lucus Augusti and other parts of the empire, lived together and shared space with members of various tribes from the pre-Roman castro culture. The circus, Gallaeci settlement, and Romanus Theatrum on Plaza de Santa María, the festival's cultural centre, are other areas well worth visiting.
Highlight: The intense activity at the Macellum.