Tarragona: a walk through a Unesco World Heritage City
Tarragona, just an hour away from Barcelona, is one of the oldest cities in Spain. A jewel included in the Unesco’s World Heritage Sites list for the huge roman legacy you can admire in its streets. Tarrago was the name Romans gave to the city that was for a long period of time the capital of Hispania Tarraconensis and one of the richest ports of the empire. The development of Tarragona, the urban planning and its design served as model for other provincial capitals in the Roman world.
When you arrive to the city, the first thing you will notice that its location on a hill overlooking the sea gave the protection it needed against possible attacks. The views of the Mediterranean Sea from the Passeig de les Palmeres are incredible. The Amphitheater is located facing the sea and is really well preserved. Is not hard to imagine why Romans choose this place to build it!
The Amphitheater is located facing the sea
In the southern entrance to the old quarter, there are some remains of the Circus and the wall that defended the city centuries ago. In the nearby Plaza del Rei you will find the Archeologic Museum focused in the vast Roman legacy found in the city.
Going up the Carrer de Santa Ana you will reach the Forum Square. The Provincial Forum was located there and was where all the political and economic decisions took place. Now you will find a wide variety of restaurants and terraces, a lovely place to have a drink surrounded by history.
If you continue the Carrer De la Merceria you will reach an impotent stone stairway that leads to the great Cathedral. It was built in the highest point of a hill and it is the center of the old quarter. It was finished in 1331 and it is a great example of the transition of the Romanic to the Gothic style. In the surrounding square, you will find medieval buildings. In that square, take place the human towers called Castellers, of great tradition in the city, and declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco.
In the Carrer Major you will find the old Town Hall, now the Historic Museum of Tarragona and tourist information bureau. The actual town Hall is in the Plaza de la Font a pedestrian square full of life!
Do not miss the beautiful and quiet Pallol Square and its nearby streets full of small art galleries of local artists! I invite you to wander through the streets of the old quarter of Tarragona and discover the secrets corners where old and new, roman and medieval go hand by hand!
Tarragona Old Town