Ancient Roman Tarragona

Tarraco, the current Tarragona, was the first Roman military establishment outside the Italian peninsula. Dedicate one day to learn about its rich history, follow the Roman Route and feel yourself traveling through time, finding a unique experience among the cities of the Roman West.

Roman Tarragona, Costa Dorada, Spain

In 2000, Tarragona was declared a World Heritage by UNESCO. The architectural remains of this city Tarragona are truly amazing for its amazing state of preservation. Do not miss the opportunity to experience this unique place, covering at least part of the Roman Tarragona

Route by the Roman Tarragona

To start the route of Roman Tarragona, We could take a stroll through the walls of the Paseo Arqueológico. In the 2ndcentury B.C. Tarraco built these walls to demarcate the urban perimeter, its original length was 3500 metersand today, are still preserved 1100 meters of the original walls surrounding the old town. Many old style buildings are real gems because they are part of the Antigua Muralla. It is a lovely place to stroll admiring some of the preserved Roman sculptures, and imagine the inhabitants of that time walking in their coats and leather strappy sandals.


Tarragona circus Romana vista de la gran muralla romana en el casco histórico

Murallas Romanas de Tarragona

© Photo by Alberich Fotògrafs


One of the most anticipated visits will be the Roman amphitheater where the games and fights were held here to entertain its citizens for centuries; step into the arena of the amphitheater, walk between the cells where the animals and Christian prisoners were locked, or sit in the stands and imagine the gladiator battles that were held here, it is a truly unique experience.


tarragona Roman ruins anfitheater aereal view

Roman anfitheater aereal view


On the Roman Tarragona route you cannot miss a visit to the buildings of the Forum, which formed the heart of the Roman city, with its columns, squares and stays that take us to other times. You cannot forget to delve into the Roman Circus,where chariot races took place. It is one of the best historic sites preserved in the West, even though most of its structure remains under buildings built in the 19th century.
Near the sea, farthest from the center of the city is the amazing Museo Paleo-cristiano and the most important necropolis in Western Europe that features Roman bodies buried in amphorae in the fetal position, which is very impressive. One of the jewels of the museum is Muñeca de Ívori  an emblematic archaeological piece found in 1927 that remains in perfect state.


Tarragona old roman ruins, Roman forum

Roman Forum ancient ruins


Another of the most important Roman monuments of Tarragona is located a few kilometers away from the city, which is the spectacular Acueducto del Puente del Diablo. Guided tours of 90 mins are in Parc Ecohistòric del Pont del Diable, where you can discover every historical corner while you enjoy a beautiful natural setting in the Jardín Romántico.
Don’t hesitate, you will fall in love with the city of Tarragona, to travel back in time and see how easy it is to see here how everything was in imperial times.


Roman Tarragona, what you can't miss

demo-tape-tarraco-romana Model old Tárraco Roman city

The best way to understand the majesty and the importance of this city is to visit this place. A miniature reconstruction of the city of the 2nd century A.D. located in Antigua Audiencia at the Plaça del Pallol.
Its 21 square meters and its many details allow us to imagine the planning and expansion of the city in the second century A.D., a period when it was itspeak.


Old Roman walls of Tarragona Roman Walls

Because of the numerous enemies thatthe Roman Empire had, they used to equip its major cities with strong defensive walls. The ancient Tarraco is believed to have had more than 3,000 meters long and up to 4 meters high. Between the walls and small lintels access doors were opened, a series of defensive towers also rose in the most vulnerable points, like Torre de Minerva, la del Cabiscol and la del Arzobispo. La plaza del Pallol is the place that holds the best preserved city walls where you can understand the majesty of this historical work.


Roman forum Tarragona Foro Provincial

The Provincial Forum was a huge monumental complex built in time of Emperor Vespasian around the year 73 A.D. Its function was to house the administrative, religious and cultural center of the capital. The enclosure was built in the upper part of the city and consisted of a rectangular square surrounded by a portico of columns with composite capitals and in the background, the temple of imperial worship. If you are heading to Lleida street you will see the remains of a basilica, a portico with tabernaes, the curia, the back of a capital temple and some houses.


Roman circus in Tarragona aereal view Roman Circus

The Roman circus was the place where chariot and horse races (beams or quadrigae) were held,and certainly the most popular massshow of the Empire. If you approach Rambla Vella de Tarragona you will see the main wreckage of the building where these races took place. Located on the lower terrace of the Provincial Forum, it is one of the best preserved circuses in the West. The Roman Circus of Tarraco rose on large cement vaults, had an approximate dimension of 325 m length and a width of between 100 and 115 m and it is estimated that it had a capacity for 30,000 spectators.


Roman Anfitheater Amphitheater

The Anfiteatro, with a capacity of up to 15,000 people, is the real gem of the archaeological sites of the Roman Tarragona. Located in a privileged area by the sea just outside the walls, the builders took advantage of the natural slope of the area to build the stands. Here, all kinds of shows and gladiator fights, athletic competitions, hunts and even massacres of Christians took place. It was endowed with spectacular facilities, with a series of rooms and corridors under the sand where gladiators were kept, and through a system of pulleys, wild beasts and wild animals were brought to the arena.



Enjoy this video about the fantastic festival Tarragona Viva




Popular places in Tarragona

Tarragona Cathedral

Tarragona Cathedral

Top 10 places to visit in Tarragona

Top 10 places to visit in Tarragona

Tarragona National Archaeological Museum

Tarragona National Archaeological Museum