Tarragona, Spain

Tarragona was first occupied by the Romans in 218BC who called it Tarraco. Its rich Roman remains and fine medieval cathedral make this an absorbing place to visit. All the city's monuments are closed on Monday except the cathedral - its a pity I didn't know this before I visited.

Tarragona tourist attractions include the Museum of Archaeology and the Roman ruins of Tarraco, which has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Tarragona is located near the holiday resort of Salou but will probably be never visited by the tourists from here as for the average Salou tourist, its 'Benny's Fish and Chips' and a beach sun lounger rather than world heritage.

Links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarragona


23 Sep 2006 - Tarragona, Spain

Reus airport serves as a provincial airport by the budget airlines as a gateway to Barcelona. Barcelona is about an hour away and is an airport I have often arrived at. However, I had seen that Tarragona is very near by so after reading about it became interested in visiting, largely because of the Roman remains.

I arrived at the airport with very little money, relying upon the cash machines in the airport for my needs. Unfortunately these were not working so I was cashless and some distance away from Tarragona. An English couple were happy to share a taxi until I told them I only had enough money to pay a third of the way. They then very quickly backed out preferring to pay the whole fair rather than two thirds - the fools.

With little hope of getting transport I prepared for the walk 8 mile walk to Tarragona. This is 8 miles to the centre but I would have come across a cash machine at some point though the first 4 miles or so appeared to be dual carriage way. Fortunately, I got speaking to another English guy who was visiting his parents and offered me a lift into Tarragona to which I gratefully accepted.

Tarragona isn't a very big place but there is a lot to see but even better than this, Tarragona is situated on the coast and has a long strip of sandy beach which I took a time out and snooze on. Not being a big tourist destination and with is being out of season plus this being a work day, the beach was quite empty and I could lie back and soak up the sun and relaxing noise of the sea lapping at the shore.

Something new to me also occurred while exploring. Outside the walls of the city I came across a corpse which had a couple of people and two police officers in attendance! I hung around as a keen spectator for about 10 minutes but nothing seemed to be happening so I carried on with my business.

I didn't have time to see the impressive, two tiered, 27 meter high and 217 meter long Roman aqueduct which is about a mile outside of the city. Next time, if I am ever here again, I will make sure that I do.
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Tarragona - Amphitheatre I

Tarragona - Amphitheatre I

Small by the standards of the colosseum in Rome and amphitheatre in Pompeii, this is still an impressive structure. Much of it has been used as a quarry over the centuries.

Beyond the amphitheatre and to the right can be seen the golden beach which I took a time out on.
Tarragona - Amphitheatre II

Tarragona - Amphitheatre II

In the arena are the remains of the 6th and 12th century churches built to commemorate the martyrdom of the Christian bishop Fructuous and two deacons, who they say were burnt alive in AD 259.
Tarragona - Renaissance era arches

Tarragona - Renaissance era arches

Located next to the cathedral are these arches whose significance I can no longer remember.
Tarragona - Cathedral

Tarragona - Cathedral

At the top of the old town, it is deserving of a visit and was built from 1171 to 1331 on the site of a Roman temple.
Tarragona - Forum

Tarragona - Forum

There are two forums in Tarragona and these are the remains of one of them. The other has an extensive collection of ruins and columns.
Tarragona - Double walls

Tarragona - Double walls

This photo highlights the double set of walls that surround part of the city. The inner ones are mainly Roman while the outer ones were put up by the British in the War of the Spanish Succession fought between 1701 and 1714.
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