Tarraco, the Roman Tarragona in Catalonia, is a place of cultural and historical interest. In fact, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Therefore, your visit is essential on any trip to the city. Next, we give you all the information you need. Can you come with us?
History of Roman Tarragona in Catalonia
It was the Romans who founded Tarraco in the 3rd century BC It soon became one of the most important cities in Hispania, as well as the capital of the Hispania Citerior province, as early as the 1st century BC. At that time, Emperor Augustus decided to settle there in order to lead the Cantabrian wars.
The decline of Tarraco occurred after the fall of the Roman Empire in the year 476. The Visigoths razed Roman Tarragona in Catalonia. Later the Muslims would conquer it in unclear circumstances, and later the Christians would take over the square.
What to see in Tarragona
The archaeological complex of Roman Tarragona in Catalonia is one of the largest in Roman Hispania that is still preserved in Spain. In it you can see, for example, the Provincial Forum of Tarracowhich consisted of two squares: one dedicated to worship and the other to representation.
Very close to the Tarraco Provincial Forum is the circus. It was built at the end of the 1st century AD under the mandate of Emperor Domitian. With an elongated shape and a circular finish on one of its sides, it hosted chariot races or theatrical games. It had a capacity of 25,000 people.
The circus is connected to the Praetorian tower. Through it, one reached the representation square of the Provincial Forum of Tarraco. Also noteworthy is the Torre de los Escipiones, a funerary construction located on the outskirts of Tarraco and of which only its base remains today.
From the towers we pass to the Roman amphitheater. There we can step on its sand or walk among the cells in which the animals or Christian prisoners who starred in the fights were locked up. Or we can sit in the stands to move back in time.
Inside the amphitheater stood the medieval church of Santa María del Miracle. Some remains of it can still be seen.
Also you have to keep in mind the Archaeological Walk. It circulates between the Roman wall, which delimited the urban perimeter of Tarraco and of which 1,100 meters are preserved; the Colonial Forum, scene of commercial and administrative affairs; the Roman theater; the Ferreres aqueduct or the Bará arch.
Archaeological Museum and paleochristian necropolis
In addition to all the above, you must visit the museum in which pieces related to the Roman past of Tarragona are exhibited. It is the Archaeological Museum. Archaeological remains extracted from excavations carried out in the city, such as sculptures, tapestries or mosaics, are distributed in its rooms.
Next to the Archaeological Museum is the paleochristian necropolis. It is a Roman and Christian cemetery from the 3rd and 4th centuries with tombs of various types. Also, many of the burials are located around and inside a basilica dating from the 5th century.
Practical information to visit Tarraco
In order not to lose detail of the Roman Tarragona in Catalonia You can take a two-hour guided tour. Includes a local guide expert in art and history, entrance to the Roman circus, parking and something to drink.
The price is these guided tours is 9.5 euros for adults. Seniors over 65 years old have a discount, while children between 6 and 12 years old pay 4.5 euros. They take place on Saturday mornings.
Keep in mind that visiting some monuments of Tarraco carries a cost: the entrance to the amphitheater, the Forum of the Colony and the Archaeological Walk, where the remains of the old wall are found, is 3.30 euros. Meanwhile, the one for the Archaeological Museum and the Paleo-Christian necropolis is 4.5 euros.