Roman Amphitheatre, Tarragona
Roman Amphitheater of Tarragona was built during the end of I and beginning of second centuries B.C. This is no biggest amphitheater in Mediterranean area but anyway its capacity was from twelve and up to thirteen thousand spectators. Some admirers of Roman culture should always remember this amphitheater was the place of were horrible and cruel entertainments. For instance in the year 259 A.D. during the persecutions against the Christians, according to orders of Emperor Valerian, here were burnt alive Bishop of Tarragona Fructuous and his Deacons, Augurius and Eulogius. Than Christianity became official religion of Roman Empire then this amphitheater lost its original functions step by step.
In 1576 it became the convent for the Order of the Trinity until 1780 when it became a prison for prisoners who were constructing the port. After closing the prison, it was abandoned up to the mid-20th century.
1 October to Easter Week:
Public holidays: 10.00am-3.00pm.
From Easter Week to 30 September:
Public holidays: 9.00am-3.00pm.
General admission: 2.45 €.
Reduced: €1.25 (groups of over 25 people, retired people and students).
Free: children under 16 years.
There are many roman ruins in Tarragona, old columns, part of the walls etc but the Roman Amphitheatre(amfiteatre roma) is the most interesting and impressive among them. It was built in late 1st or early 2nd century AD near the sea-shore with money donated by a provincial flamen. It had a capacity of 13,000 spectators and was another building that was designed to hold spectacles (the others were the theatre and the circus). The people were coming here to see gladiator combats and wild animal hunts (it was built near the beach where the animals disembarked at the end). Of course this was also a place of executions, something that the people was watching with joy back then.
We walked into the amphitheatre where you can also see the remains of a Romanesque church that was built in 12th century over the remains of a 7th century church that was built in memory of Sant Fructuosus of Tarragona. He was a bishop of Tarragona and became a martyr during the persecutions of Christians in 3rd century when he was burnt at the stake inside the amphitheatre.
After the fall of the roman empire the amphitheatre was also used as a quarry
We also walked a bit at Parc de l’Amfiteatre (pic 2), they are some attractive gardens planted in elliptical borders that evoke the psysiognomy of the monument. There is an info board that gives explanation on plants and trees that were common in Roman era and what they were used for (eating, worshipping etc).
The entrance fee is 3,15e, combination ticket 10,55e(includes also Fòrum Romà, Casa Canal, Casa Castellarnau, Pretori i Circ Romans, Muralles-Passeig, Arqueològic)
It’s open Tuesday to friday 10.00-21.00 (Sunday till 15.00)
The Amfiteatre is a well preserved example of Tarragona's impressive Roman heritage. Many of the seating areas are still quite in tact and you can wander to your heart's delight through the old Roman theatre. Notice, as you walk through the centre of the amfiteatre that it was also used as a place of worship for local Christians after the area was converted to Christianity. The church is no longer standing, but you can make out the ruins of a basilica in the centre.
Like we said: Tarragona played a main role during the Roman domination of Hispania (Iberian Panisnula). In those years many of the city's monuments were erected. We left the walled city and via a stop at a playing ground for kids, we walked towards L'Amfiteatre Romà. The location of the amphitheater wasn't chosen by accident. It is very close to the Via Augusta (main road towards Rome), just before the road enters the city, and near the beach, where the animals used in the spectacles were disambarked.
The amphitheatre completed the trio of buildings (theatre, circus and amphitheater) to hold spectacles in, which were the symbols of an important Roman city and capital of an Imperial province. Its construction was made possible by the euergetic donation of an (yet unknown) Imperial Priest. At the information sign, just next to the entrance, we read that two types of spectacles were held here: gladiator combats (munera) and wild animal hunts (venationes). It was also used to execute prisoners who had been redemned to death.
Ruins of Roman amphitheatre are located between the sea and old town of Tarragona. In old times here was a place for different kind of shows – gladiator flights, public executions, and so on. The structure was built in the 2nd century. Actually it is interesting enough, that later, in 7th century Visigoths built a church on an amphitheatre to commemorate a martyrdom of Saint Fructousus.
Amphitheatre is also famous for a longest Roman inscription found in who former region of empire.
The amphitheatre was built outside the walls, near the sea between I and II century aC. In the Amphitheatre took place basically bloody spectacles like gladiators fights, fights with animals, executions but you could see athletics spectacles too. It is believed that the bishop Fructuós (later s. Fructuós martyr was executed here. Nowadays you still can see in the middle of the arena a Basilica from the VI century where tradition placed the exact point of his martyr.
The arena and the cavea are in good conditions. The remains of the basilica and a roman necropolis (which you can only see from the cavea) are interesting too
The Roman Amphitheatre was constructed during the end of the 1st century/beginning of the 2nd century outside the city walls, near the sea. The west side is against the rock where seats were carved out and on the east side seats were built over vaults. The amphitheatre was used for gladiator games, gladiator against gladiator or fights with animals. There were also executions here.
Remains of two churches and a necropolis can be seen in the Amphitheatre. The churches, from the 6th- and 12th century were built over the place were the Christian bishop and two deacons, Augurius and Eulogius, were burnt alive in 259 AD.
From Easter to September the Amphitheatre is open between 9 - 21, on Tuesday - Saturday, and between 9 - 15 on Sundays.
October to Easter the Amphitheatre is open between 9 - 17 on Tuesday - Saturday and between 10 - 15 on Sundays.
Entrance fee was 2.45 Euro (March 2008).
I bought the combination ticket for 9.25 Euro.
If you want to save money the Amphitheatre can be seen quite well from the outside.
the amphitheatre was built in the 2nd century BC and accommodated 14,000 spectators. it's purpose was to stage gladiator contests and wild animal fights. the early christian fructuosus and his followers augurius and eulogius were martyed here. a visigothic basilica was built over the ruins of the amphitheatre in the 6th century and later in the 12th century the church of santa maria del milagro was built on the site. at the amphitheatre you can see the inscription of the emperor heliogabalus (221AD) which is considered one of the major roman inscriptions remaining in the world.
This Amphitheater is located by the sea, outside the old Roman city. Most probably it was constructed in the first or second century of our era. Inside this amphitheater you can see the remains of the church constructed in memory of 'Sant Fructuos'. This Saint was killed in the arena, which in the 7th century became a sacred Christian temple
Walk on the place where the gladiators fought in the ancient times.
One think I liked a lot was the contrast of the white building with the blue background of the sea and sky.
One of the best roman ruins we can find in Catalunya. Entrance about 200ESP but one can have a beautiful view from outside.
The ROMAN AMPHITHEATRE (IIc A.D.) destined for gladiatorial combats. This is a good place in which to dally for a while and imagine the Roman city of Tarragona.