VR Las Musas

A countryside retirement inspired by art and knowledge muses

“Hail, children of Zeus! Grant lovely song […] These things declare to me from the beginning, ye Muses who dwell in the house of Olympus, and tell me which of them first came to be.”.

Hesiod, Theogony, 104-115.

This roman villa is placed in the municipality of Arellano, in the valley of La Solana and merindad of Tierra de Estella. It domines a millenary landscape occupied by cereals, vines, olive trees and fruit trees. The archaeological remains found tell us that tis villa was built between the 1st and the 5th centuries, with two habitational moments.

From the first phase stands out the cella vinaria (wine cellar), placed one storey under the cortinale (boiling room) and the torcularium (pressing room), as the latin treatise writers command. It is one of the best kept roman winecellars of Europe. It is thought that this facility would have had a capacity of about 45.000 wine litres. Another outstanding piece is the lararium (domestic altar) discovered inside the wine cellar, dedicated to domestic roman gods.

From the second phse, the main evidences are two rooms and a nearby building. The first of the rooms is the oecus (main reception room), decorated with an extraordinary mosaic that extends over 90 square metres, displaying scenes from the Cybele-Attis myth. Very near to this room we find the musaeum, an octagonal room paved with a mosaic (nowadays a replica from the original), where we can contemplate the representation of the 9 muses, inspiration of arts and artists, each of them with their respective master.

Outside the covered part of the site we find a great rectangular building, where the mystery rites of taurobolio took place. It was, among other things, the ritual sacrifice of a bull to achieve a blood baptism. It was an eastern practice, imported to Rome by the first adorers of goddess Cybele, also known as Magna Mater.

Leave a comment

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.