Roman Tarragona

Tarragona's history goes hand in hand with the Cornelius Scipio family. Their presence in the city meant that, years later, it was transformed into Hispania’s main military base, from where the Iberian Peninsula would be conquered for 200 years. Tarraco purveyed itself with a defensive wall. Over 3,500 meters of stone protected the city that became one of the most important economic, cultural and social centres of the time. It enjoyed its maximum splendour between the first and second centuries AD, becoming the capital of Hispania Citerior, the largest in the Empire. We find testimony of this in the National Archaeological Museum. There we can see what life was like back then, and learn step by step how the beautiful mosaics, a cultural legacy of infinite value, were made.

Domes such as this support the weight of the stands of the Roman circus from the first century AD, one of the best preserved in Europe with a capacity for 30,000 people.

With the sea in the background, Tarragona’s amphitheatre greets us. A sublime scenario where one can imagine gladiator fights, wild animals and public executions. A part of the stand, sculptured from the rock, has endured to this day.

Central to the city life is the local Forum, a multifunctional space where markets were held and political speeches made... A place from where we can see part of its basilica, structured in a building with three large chambers, separated by columns,and where justice was imparted and also where the local council held their meetings.

Within the city, we can find one of Europe´s main necropolis, which was created in the middle of the third century AD, with 20,000 square metres and more than 2,000 graves. Here we can highlight two sarcophagi, that of the lions and the pedagogue.

The Roman villa of Centcelles is one of the early Christian masterpieces. Inside we find this... one of the most beautiful mosaics of the Roman world from the fourth century AD, where we can see scenes from the Old and New Testament, but above all, a beautiful hunting scene.

The city, built stone by stone, has its roots in the Medol quarry. From there, 50,000 cubic meters of rock were extracted which today we see distributed in a city that oozes history in every corner.