The land where Mérida stands has been inhabited since prehistoric times, but it is the Romans who have made the most lasting impact. In 25 B.C. it was known as Emerita Augusta and together with Astorga (Asturica Augusta) it formed the original Vía de la Plata, an important route used to transport gold from the northern mines to the capital.
To see most of what Mérida has to offer, you’ll need to step off the camino after it crosses the Puente Romano. Immediately after the bridge, looming large on your right, is the Alcazaba, a 9th century Islamic fort (paid). Continue up the Calle Cava to the far end of the Alcazaba and turn left when you... (continued in Camino App and Book)
The camino does not make any real entrance into the oldest parts of Mérida and with the exception of the Alcazaba (the castle at the end of the bridge) and the Acueducto de Los Milagros it avoids passing any of the most significant buildings in the city.