Guide to Tarragona, Spain, Cataluna Spain, Roman history in Spain, Roman Tarragona
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Places in Spain - Tarragona

 

The Romans saw the importance of the location of Tarragona in the 3rd century B.C when they set up military and political headquarters there. The strategic location, mild climate and the local wine were an ideal combination. Known as Tarraco, it became the capital of the Roman's biggest Spanish province. It grew to a population of around 30,000 and had its own money mint. So much was built here by the Romans and so much remains here its like stepping back in time.

 

Tarragona is 98km from Barcelona, within Catalonia.

All over Tarragona you will see remnants of the Roman Empire, from simple columns to a full size amphitheatre along the beach edge. During excavations here in 1953, an early Christian church was discovered. Above this site is what's called the Balco de Maditerrani, a cliff-side promenade that offers unbeatable views over the sea.
Tarragona amphitheatre

These photographs show the amphitheatre in Tarragona. Entry is 3 euros per person. 

Tarragona amphitheatre
In the summer, Roman re-enactments are held in the arena.
Tarragona amphitheatre
 
Tarragona amphitheatre
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Close to the central market lie the excavated remains of the Roman Forum where you can wander and wonder on what the shops and amenities looked like in Roman times.

On the edge of the city, over-looking the River Francoli is an extraordinary museum, quite unique. The Necropoli i Museu Paleocristia is a cemetery for Tarragona's early Christians. The museum which is about the size of three football pitches has observation platforms looking over hundreds of graves, left as they were discovered.

The Cathedral in Tarragona is a 'must-see'. Built in 1171 on the site of a Roman temple to Jupiter, it has 19 chapels in all. Inside you will also find the museum with a wealth of important artefacts.

The cathedral area is the oldest part of the city and it is here where you find small craft shops, bars and cafes.

The cathedral
City walls
Tarragona Cathedral
There is a weekly antiques market held around the cathedral, (more like a car boot sale without the cars).

 

Tarragona, although an ancient city, is now a cosmopolitan hub where ancient and modern rubs shoulders quite happily. Modern buildings blend perfectly with statues, quaint plazas and modern high street shops.

 

The walk through the city centre is pleasant, especially in the evening.

Tarragona
Tarragona
Pictured left is a unique bronze statue of the 'human towers' an unusual fiesta in the area. It's located on the main Rambla.
Tarragona
Tarragona
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