In Belém, the decision to transform the former palace that once served as the residence of the governor of the Tower of Belém into a hotel brought a surprise: excavations would reveal that beneath the ground lay remnants of a Roman fish sauce factory!
It may have been one of the largest fish sauce factories in the city of Felicitas Iulia Olisipo, the Roman Lisbon of the 1st and 2nd centuries BCE. The complex operated for 500 years and played a significant role in the economy of the Tagus estuary and the province of Lusitania.
However, its remains had been hidden for years within this building, which was commissioned in 1519 by Dom Gaspar de Paiva, the first captain-governor of the Tower of Belém. Today, the NAU Hotel - Palácio do Governador showcases two vats from the ancient Roman garum (fish sauce) factory that once existed there, in the courtyard area!
A reminder of times long past.