From Placa del Rei you can walk to the remains of the circus and visit the most important museum in Tarragona, the Musee Nacional Arqueologic. The square is very pretty with loads of outdoor cafes and trees and is oobviously popular with both tourists and locals. In the photo you can see the museum and also the tower /Praetoruium that once housed the stairs which connected the lower city to the forum. This tower was rebuilt in the middle ages asCastell Pilat and later converted to a royal residence, Castel del Rei.
The Museum has a formidable collection of Roman artifacts found during excavations in Tarragona and the mosaics, in particular are amazing. Unfortunately, by the time I got to Placa del Rei , it was after three so I didn't get to see them and had to make do with the photographs.
PH: 977 23 62 09 www.mnat.es
Check the website for opening times and admission costs.
Moving upwards from the amphitheatre, passing by the seaward end of both Rambla Nova and Rambla Vella ( the two main thoroughfares of the new and old parts of the city), you will arrive at Passeig de las Palmeras. Near here are the largest remains of the Cirque Romans. This circus, like all Roman circuses was used for chariot racing, and extended from here as far as the Placa del Font, 325m x115m in size, with capacity for 30,000 spectators. Locating a circus within the city limits was unusual and it is quite intriguing as you amble around the old quarter of Tarragona, to find great lumps of what used to be the circus, embedded in buildings and people's houses. This section of the ruins is quite dramatic with its arches and tunnels and magnificent location high up over the sea.
PH: 977 23 01 71 WWW.tarragonaturisme.ie
Without a doubt , the walk along the ancient city walls which enclose the old quarter on three sides, is one of the most spectacular attractions of Tarragona. These walls are the oldest Roman construction still standing outside of Italy and were started shortly after they arrived here in 218 BC.The walk which circumnavigates the walls, winds its way between the original Roman walls and the more modern, 16th -18th century reinforced additions. Parts of the route, especially around the Camp de Mart, goes through beautiful Mediterranean gardens and along the way you will pass three great towers which form part of the fortifications.
PH: 977 24 57 96
OPEN: Summer, Tues- Sat, 9-9; Sundays and bank holidays, 9-3
Winter: Tues- Sat, 9-5: Sundays and bank holidays, 10-3
Favorite thing: The ancient walls had two gates: one on the western side of the city, the Roman-style Portal del Roser and the more classical-style Portal de Saint Antonio on the Eastern side. The photo shows the Portal del Roser, just at the entrance to the Paseig Arquelogic and if you look closely you can see clearly the three different layers which make up the stratification of the walls. On the bottom are huge foundation stones, in the middle is the typical Roman stonework and on top are stones added in the middle ages. Going out of the Portal del Roser is a major culture shock. It takes you out of the old quarter to the Via de L'Imperi Roma and from the enclosed shadowed world inside, you are suddenly exposed to a vast, crystal-clear panorama of the newer city spreading off into the distance.
Placa del Pallol is the last place on my itinerary of Roman remains. This lovely little square is right inside the Portal del Roser and it contains one of the two remainig fragments of the provincial forum. Of all the roman edifices inTarragona, the forum is the one which there is least left of. As with all roman cities, the forum played an important role in the life of the city and was its political and administrative centre. Unfortunately, all that remains today are two fragments: one reasonably substantial chunk on the Placa del Forum itself, and the other smaller one, here on the Placa del Pallol.
Unfortunately , the only photograph of the Placa del Pallol which I managed to salvage, has nothing to do with the Roman forum. It shows a very happy little dog getting a cooling bath in the fountain.But I really like this photo. It perfectly encapsulates hot sunshine and cool fountains - essential elememts of a September Sunday in Tarragona.
The Romans used Tarragona as a base to penetrate up the Ebro and conquer Iberia. In 45 BC Julius Caesar made it a colony and many of it's important buildings date from the period when Augustus lived here c.24 AD. The importance of Tarraco is obvious from the fact that it has an amphitheatre, a circus, a forum and a theatre. The amphitheatre is the most famous of these buildings. In a spectacular location overlooking the Med and Platja de Miracle, it was the setting for gladiator fights and all the other quaint Roman pursuits. In the centre is the remains of a church erected to the memory of Fructos who was martyred here along with thedeacons Auguri and Eulogi in 257 AD. The amphitheatre held up to 14,00 people. Entrance is from Parc del Miracle.
OPEN: Summer- 9-9 tuesday to Saturday; 9-3 Sundays and bank holidays
Winter: 9-5 , Tuesday to Saturday; 10-3 Sundays and bank holidays
PH:977 24 25 79 WWW.tarragonaturisme.ie
Favorite thing: At the Playa del Forum (if I remember correctly) we found these nice faces ... had to act swiftly because my father had spotted a restaurant where they served 'koffie met appelgebak', or in English, coffee and a piece of apple pie ... mmmm yummy!
Tarragona was a ancient Roman Tarraco and kept the architecture of Classical Roman style. It is still possible to encounter such treasures as aphiteatre or circus, remains of old wall.
Year by year the town altered its view and quite impressive gothic buildings were constructed as Cathedral, King's castle.
Nowadays town is proud for keeping an old spirit and is quite remarkable place for those who interested in Roman Empire or medieval times. Let say one of the best Roman aqueduct is still kept, but a bit away from city centre (haven't visited it).
The place still is not so full of tourist, it means not so "prepared" for them. Old part looks authentic, not so much shining and not so much reconstructed; it is more charm than a negative thing.
In my opinion it is a place, suitable for visit if you are longer time in Barcelona. That is more, place is very important for whose who search for Roman traces.
It is possible town will soon be more refurbished, as it is one of candidates to be European capital of culture in 2016.
Let’s make no secret of it. We both like a nice cold glass of beer. Being abroad is always a challenge to find a beer we like, which reflects our taste of having a beer. In Australia it was sometimes rather difficult. We found out that there are quite some local beers, only known in that particular area. But anyway, we did like San Miguel.
Mahou is a Spanish brewing company, founded in Madrid in 1890 under the name of Hijos de Casimiro Mahou, fabrica de hielo y cerveza. (The Sons of Casimiro Mahou, maker of ice and beer). After the purchase of San Miguel corporation at the end of the 2000, the company was re-named Mahou-San Miguel, the greater Spanish brewing company. The San Miguel Especial is a nice beer and comes close to the lager we enjoy at home.
Fondest memory: well...all of tarragona is ...mmm...paradise is the only word that comes to mind. But i have to say that the Habour is one of the places i miss the most. and one of the places i visited the most also. It is the place mostly all of the action takes place on weekends. A place everyone should have a chance of going to in my oppinion. there are A LOT of clubs on the habour. for all sorts of tastes. Go for it!!
Don't forget to visit the differents villages.. all of them are very different... Deltebre, Poblenou del Delta, Sant Jaume d'Enveja, Amposta, Alcanar, St. Carles de la Ràpita....
Fondest memory: My fondest memory..... well... I live in Barcelona, an stressing city as you can suppose...... so, every time I arrive to the Delta del Ebre, there is an special smell that reminds me where i am... Its difficult to describe this smell but imagine hundreds of Km. just with rice fields... make me feel free in the middle of all this nature!
Experience the local food, historic Roman sites, and white sand beaches -- this coastal city of the Mediterranean is a treasure chest of adventure and culture.
Fondest memory: Great food & wine ! The tapas bars serve the best fresh catch from the sea. The wine from the local regions rival La Rioja.
During the summer, the white sand beaches and clear blue water are warm to a touch...unspoiled and natural.
The town festivals of Santa Tecla and Sant Magi are beyond words to describe... Its a non-stop party...
Not far at all from Barcelona by train. (Less than an hours ride) Get on the train in Barcelona early or you may not have a seat.
Fondest memory: The mix of traditional Spanish architecture and Roman influence. Note the picture below.
In the year 218 b.C, the Romans arrived to what is nowadays the city of Tarragona and remained there until the late 2nd century of our era (For them also was a wonderful place to stay ;-) yeah!). As a result of their presence and the influence thay had on the area, we may nowadays find many architectural remains that are a tribute to this civilisation. I should mention specially: the Roman amphitheatre, the Roman Road, The Forum, The Circus, the Palace of the Magistrate, the summer residence of Pontius Pilate, and the temple devoted to Emperor Augustus...
Fondest memory: When I'm away from Tarragona I miss all the Cultural Heritage of this great city!