Fun things to do in Tarragona

  • Roman Circus
    by Oleg_D.
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Tarragona

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    Passeig Arqueològic/Ancient & Medieval Walls

    by Oleg_D. Written Feb 5, 2014

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    Passeig Arqueològic or archeological passage is the way along old defensive walls of Tarragona. These wall were built in II century B.C. Originally the length of those walls was 3500 meters but only 1100 meters survived till nowadays. Walls were renovated and enforced during the middle age, only their lower parts are really Roman now. You will distinct the Roman stones from medieval ones from the first glance. Two medieval towers are still exist, they are the Archbishop’s Tower and Minerva Tower.
    Opening times
    1 October to the week before Easter week:
    Tuesday-Saturday, 9.00am-5.00pm.
    Sundays and public holidays, 10.00am-3.00pm.
    Easter week to 30 September:
    Tuesday-Saturday: 9.00am-9.00pm.
    Sundays and public holidays: 9.00am-3.00pm.
    Closed: Mondays, 1 and 6 January, 1 May, 25 and 26 December.
    Tickets and prices
    General admission: 2,20 €.
    Joint visit including Amphitheatre, Casa Castellarnau House, Praetorium, Defensive Walls, Forum and Circus: 8,60 €.
    Reduced: 1 €. (students, over 65's, groups of over 25 people).Joint visit including Amphitheatre, Casa Castellarnau House, Praetorium, Defensive Walls, Forum and Circus: 4,20 €.
    Free admission: under 16's and members of ICOM (International Council of Museums).

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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    Hospital of Santa Thecla

    by Oleg_D. Written Jan 21, 2014

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    Old Hospital of Santa Thecla is a monument of Catalan Gothic in Tarragona and local cultural legacy. Today that building is the headquarters of the Regional Council of Tarragona. Construction of old hospital, not the hospital in modern meaning but the hostel for pilgrims, started in 1171 under supervision of Archbishop Hugh.
    Two centuries later the Municipality of Tarragona founded its own hospital. Archbishop Peter Urea ordered merging of these hospitals in 1464 and both were merged in the present building. Existing Gothic facade attributed to the times of that merging.

    In 1580-1588 building was reconstructed again. In 1989 the County Council decided to install its headquarters here. Since it is situated near the Cathedral it is impossible to miss that nice Gothic building.

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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    the roman city during 2nd century

    by mindcrime Written Jan 6, 2013

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    Tarragona is connected with its roman past when it was called Tarraco. It was the capital of Hispania Citerior(nearer Hispania) and then (after 27BC) the capital of Hispania Tarraconensis (one of the 3 roman provinces in Iberian Peninsula) During the 2nd century AD it was a big prosperous city that had about 35,000 inhabitants! Although we enjoyed the amphitheatre and the ruins everywhere around we still couldn’t imagine how the roman city really was. So, I got excited when I saw this painting at the archeological museum that is a hypothetical reconstruction that kept me speechless for a while looking at it trying to realize how busy and full of activities the city must been back then!

    In 19th century a big part of the Old Town covered the roman city but it’s still amazing to walk and see part of Tarraco in many corners and seeing modern structures set side by side with some ancient stones, arches etc

    Near the Town Hall we saw a lovely graffiti (pics 2-3) standing next to roman remains (pic 4).
    Some blocks away you can see part of the wall that used to circle the old roman city

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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    placa del Forum

    by mindcrime Written Jan 6, 2013

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    Plaça del Forum was a lovely small square where we stopped for the first beer of the day. Ok, the fact that this was part of the old Roman Forum was a nice addition to the numerous outdoor café and tapa bars of the square but we didn’t really care :)

    Pic 3 shows what is left of the Roman Forum a useful ancient stone wall that provided us with some great shade…

    placa del Forum

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    museum of Modern Art

    by mindcrime Written Jan 6, 2013

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    Museum of Modern Art (museu d’Art Modern) is a small museum that we didn’t plan to visit but it was for free and gave it a try. The collection is not impressive but the small part dedicated to Miro was enough to keep us busy for some minutes to see and read about his work “Tapestry of Tarragona ” (pic 3). Then we checked “The Lemonier Mausoleum ” (1916-19) made by Julio Antonio (1889-1919), a funerary monument for a children of Lemonier family. It was supposed to be placed on boy’s tomb but in 1940 his family donated to Madrid’s museum of Modern Art and later transferred here.

    We checked in fast forward some other sculptures and paintings and then head for the first beer of the day :)

    It’s open Tuesday to Friday 10.00-20.00, Saturday 10.00-15.00, 17.00-20.00, Sundays/public holidays 11.00-14.00

    There’s no entrance fee

    Tapestry of Tarragona The Lemonier Mausoleum
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

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    churches at placa del Rei

    by mindcrime Written Jan 6, 2013

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    Placa del Rei (king’s square) is a small inner square that we stayed for a while after visiting the archeological museum which was the main reason to come here anyway. I took some pictures around, there are some churches around (Holy Trinity and Nazareth) but both of them were closed (I guess they open only for the Sunday mass)

    From here you can visit the remains of the roman praetorium where Augustus lived and later became the castle of king so since the 15th century the square is called as King’s square.
    NE of the historical center, in front of archeological museum

    church at placa del Rei
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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    Festival of Santa Tecla

    by DSwede Updated Apr 27, 2011

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    The third week of September in Tarragona is filled with festivities to honor Santa Tecla, the local saint. Not that they need any other excuses to stay up late with loud music or fireworks, but now they add the extras of road closures, parades and street performances. Most of it was pretty good, but after 10 days you just want the 6am concerts to stop. Regardless, this is the time when they have the contest of the Castellers, or the human tours, which is only found in Tarragona. There are also other activities, such as the parade of the Gigantes, music, fireworks, etc.

    There are contests in the city plaza (Placa de la Font), as well as larger contests in the Plaza del Toros! I simply cannot describe how amazing this is to see first hand!!

    Santa Tecla in Plz de la Font
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Festivals

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    Entrance ticket to six museums and monuments

    by MalenaN Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    There are many museums and historical monuments in Tarragona. The first one I visited was the Amphitheatre and I was asked if I wanted to have a single ticket to the site or a combination ticket valid for six museums/monuments. I took the combination ticket which was 9.25 Euro.
    Museums/monuments included in that ticket are:
    The Amphitheatre
    Fòrum Romà
    Casa Canal
    Casa Castellarnau
    Pretori i Circ Romans
    Muralles - Passeig Arqueològic
    First I thought the Archaeology National Museum was included as well but as it wasn’t I decided to visit that museum last, if I had time, but unfortunately I didn’t.

    Flowers
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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    L'Amfiteatre Romà - Relive scenes of gladiators?

    by Jerelis Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    During our stay in Tarragona we enjoyed its splendid nature, mild climate and an extraordinary set of monuments. The town was founded by the Romans, was a military base for the conquest of the lands of the peninsula and it became the capital of the Tarraconense Hispania. Its importance is evident in the quantity and scope of the constructions from this period., which extend from the high parts down to the sea. In 2000, the city was declared World Heritage by UNESCO. The L'Amfiteatre Romà is definately one of the masterpieces to see as it is well preserved.

    Maybe we wanted to see and relive the scenes of lions and gladiators? Whatever our reason was to visit L'Amfiteatre Romà, it was a good one, as we liked it a lot. The amphitheater is located by the sea, outside the old Roman city. When we hiked the Walls of Tarragona we already could see it and just like a magnet it just sucked us towards it.

    L'Amfiteatre Rom�� seen from the ancient city wall. Getting closer.
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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    L'Amfiteatre Romà - Amazing mural painting.

    by Jerelis Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Below the Balcón extends the Parque del Milagro, in which L'Amfiteatre Romà was excavated in 1952. The building has an elliptical ground plan. The arena, or area where the spectacles took place measures 62,50 metres by 38,50 metres and is sperated from the stands by a 3,25 metres high podium. The stands (cavea) were divided into three sections (maeniana). On the northern side they were cut out of the rock and on the rest of the amphitheater they were built over vaults. We could clearly see and identify for ourselfs the tribune, the main gate into the arena and a very small part of the facade. Quite amazing to learn that the amphitheater had seating for 12000 spectators.

    When we arrived at the gates we were sorry to see that it was closed. But a friendly guard let us in, because we were dying to see the 'fossae' where the mural painting dedicated to Nemesis was discovered. We were in and out in no time, just enough time to take one picture, but we were very thankful for this fast trip. The guard also told us that two the Deacons Augurius and Eulogius were burned alive in the arena. This act inspired the construction of a basilica in the 6th century. In the 12th century the Romanesque church of Santa Maria del Miracle were built on the remains of the early-Christian basilica. A fascinating historical place it is!

    Impressing wall painting found at the amphitheater
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Family Travel

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    Carrer de la Guitarra

    by Ekaterinburg Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Heading downhill from the Placa de la Palau towards the entrance to the city walls and Portal de Roser, you walk along Carrer de la Guitarra. This name naturally suggests Spanish guitar and music but everyplace is shuttered and silent during the little death of siesta on a hot afternoon. I can hardly bear to leave this haven of atmospheric peace and quiet but I need to see the rest of the old town and now there are the first signs of a world about to wake up. There is a dog barking and a child calling'papa' behind one of the shuttered windows. To the left is the little street called Carrer de Deu del Carmine and at the end the tiny Placa de Saint Joan. The photo shows the street just mentioned and the photo from the Placa de Saint Joan is the one with the flowerpots on my intro page.

    Carrerde la Mare de deu del Carmine Placa De St Joan
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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    Provincial forum remains

    by Raimix Updated Feb 8, 2011

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    The massive construction of forum nowadays is just some fragments, most of it gone or was altered to use in medieval times. In Forum square (Plaza de Forum) you could see an angular wall of forum.

    There are some fragments of provincial forum in other places of old town as well. The forum was full construction and working from 2nd till 5th centuries.

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    El Pallol vault

    by Raimix Updated Feb 8, 2011

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    At Roman times the place was used as a part of Roman Forum. Vault was a long gallery, but still it is a mystery for what purposes it was used. Later, till the 16th century here was a church, later - as convent. As pallol (a store) for heats and as weigting house it was used for last 300 - 400 years.

    Nowadays the building, still with features from Roman times, is a house of nice big ancient Tarraco city model, entrance is for free. It is so amazing to see that old town stands on the same sites as a Roman forum and circus were.

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    Rovira i Virgili University

    by Raimix Updated Feb 8, 2011

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    At one corner of Tarragona old town there is a one nicely looking red building. Here it is Rovira i Virgili university, restored in 1991 by Parliament of Catalonia. The first mention of Tarragona university is from 16th century, later school was abadoned.

    Here is the main office of university, called Rectorat.

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    Royal square

    by Raimix Updated Feb 8, 2011

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    Plaza del Rei is a nice small square, where you could see colorful houses, king’s castle remains and archeological museum around. It could be a nice place to relax and take a lunch in Tarragona.

    It is interesting enough to know that most of nowadays standing here houses are located on former ruins of Roman city, here it was the other parts of Roman circus.

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