This lecture examines the monumentalization of the Roman colonia of Augusta Emerita (Mérida) from its foundation in 25 B.C. to the early second century A.D. Founded by Augustus for demobilized veterans of two legions who fought in his Asturian and Cantabrian Wars, it was soon selected to become the Roman administrative centre of the new province of Lusitania. The lecture will give due weight to the initial town-planning and construction that took place under Augustus, but will stress that the full monumentalization of the colonia, modeled in significant ways on the architecture of the imperial centre, Rome, took over one hundred years to complete. The lecture will also assess the impact of the monumental architecture of the city on the lived experience of those who lived in or visited this impressive monument of Roman power at the western fringe of the Roman Empire.