Merida was founded in 25 BC, with the name of Emerita Augusta (the victorious soldiers of the army of Augustus, who defeated Antony and founded the city) by order of Emperor Augustus, to protect a bridge over the Guardia river. The city became the capital of Lusitania province, and one of the most important cities in the Roman empire. Mérida preserves more important ancient Roman monuments than any other city in Spain.
Along the way from Caceres to Merida, Ozzie found many ancient Roman roads and bridges. Roman houses were built throughout the province in order to raise grain and other crops. Today the grain crops are gone, replaced by olives, almonds and fig trees. Cattle and lamb graze on the brown grass.
What is left of the Temple of Diana is a remnant discovered in the 16th century. The figure on the top of the column is Medusa. Not seen is the face of Zeus. The temple was much larger than what is now seen. The street and houses covering much of the space that the temple formerly covered.