Merida is the capital of the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain. It was founded in the year 25 BC, with the name of Emerita Augusta (the name Merida is an evolution of this) by order of Emperor Augustus, to protect a pass and a bridge over the Guadiana river.
Merida preserves more important ancient Roman monuments than any other city in Spain (including a triumphal arch of the age of Trajan); because of this, the "Archaeological Ensemble of Merida" is a World Heritage site.
The Amphitheatre and the Roman Theatre host an annual summer festival of Classical theatre.
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