The historic centers of cities are often the most interesting areas to go and Tarragona could not be otherwise. Located in the upper part of the city, the Tarragona Old Town is a maze of narrow and short streets full of old buildings with a somewhat special decadent air. A very charming and definitely an unmissable spot on any visit to the capital of the province.
In the neighborhood are the ancient Roman walls of which only a small section is preserved. In the second century A.C. came to encircle the entire city with its nearly 4 km long and 4 meters high. Many of the buildings we see today in the Old Town, some of them built in the nineteenth century, used the thick walls of the Roman wall in their construction. In some buildings, also in bars and restaurants, these walls are visible, giving local houses and a special atmosphere.
Medieval Route of Tarragona
The Cathedral Square and its surrounding streets are the epicenter of the medieval quarter in Tarragona old city. One of the most characteristic streets of the old town starts in the Cathedral Square. It is the Calle Mercería that features a beautiful arcaded from the fourteenth century. Among other places, do not miss the Catedral de Santa Tecla, Museo Diocesano, the Old Hospital of Santa Tecla, the Jewish Quarter.
In Calle Mayor, some large houses conserve the medieval atmosphere among which highlights the former vicarage and Casa Balcells, where a central courtyard around the house was divided, yet preserved the cellar, the stables, the cistern and quarters. After it, we find the house of the abbot of Poblet, the building of the Old Town Hall. There are other interesting manor houses that can be visited such as Casa Canals, Casa Castellarnau or Casa Ripoll of modernist style. In the Plaza del Rey we can appreciate the southern facade of what was once the King’s Castle, the residence of the Norman family until 1171, when he took the crown of Aragon, one can still see its beautiful windows of the fourteenth century.
The Jewish quarter of the Tarragona Old Town
Around the Plaza dels Angels is the Jewish Quarter, which has retained some streets and some Gothic arches. At its time of maximum splendor, it was independent of the rest of the city and even had their own way exit that was “la portella dels jueus” (the portal of the Jews) It is known that there was a school, a synagogue and a bathhouse but unfortunately, they have not been preserved to this day. In Escrivanies Velles Street, you can still see a stone with an inscription in Hebrew.
Tarragona old town Leisure day and night :
The upper part of the city is full of terraces, bars and taverns and it is the place to start the day with an aperitif on Sunday morning and it is also the starting point for the nightlife on weekends. Several renowned restaurants such as restaurants Arcs, el Racó de l’Abat, el Barhaus, el Terrat, el Galliner de l’Antiquari are concentrated in this area.
Popular places in Tarragona