Archaeological site of Malafaia

The Malafaia Archaeological Site, also known as Casal Romano da Malafaia, documents a very specific occupation model of the northern Roman province of Lusitania - the small farms.

Identified in 1987, by the Archaeological Center of Arouca, this archaeological site, now part of the strategic program of the UNESCO World Arouca´s Geopark, was the subject of successive archaeological excavations between 1995-1997 and 2001-2008.

During this period, it was possible to identify some buildings with several compartments, revealing some artefactual vestiges of relative modesty, namely common ceramics of local and regional production and also some more prestigious objects such as Terra Sigillata, Fine Gray Pottery, Fíbulas and a Ionic architectural element.


In summary, we can situate in time the occupation of Malafaia from the end of the first century, extending until the end of the century V / VI, and then abandoned. In turn, by the tenth century, the site would be occupied, once again, now in the context of the Christian Reconquest.

For the visitor who is in the suspended platform of visitation of the ruins, facing the archaeological structures, you can check what remains from two buildings:

The left-hand side, structure 4, would be a large building, with a minimum of 47 square meters, although the missing part has been destroyed by the opening of the road and a path.

On the other hand, the structure on the right is numbered as structure 2, revealing itself better conserved and more complex, with several compartments, that would most likely define a courtyard inside.

As for the medieval occupation of Malafaia, this is marked mainly by several fireplaces, associated with ceramics typical of the Christian reconquest period and by some weakly constructed walls, erected on the layers of the abandoned Roman constructions.

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Várzea, 4540, Várzea
Aveiro, Arouca, Várzea
  • Latitude 40.928842
  • Longitude -8.301626