Tarragona, rightful heiress to the Tarraco Empire, is a unique city that has managed to successfully combine its Roman legacy and medieval ancestors with its genuine gems of modernist architecture and to become a privileged tourist destination.
Tarragona is a city that offers multiple options for leisure time, which will surprise the visitor and will adapt to your preferences. On one hand, the most active people will enjoy the marina, the underwater park, an urban cave, a golf course and heated pools. Culture lovers will enjoy the theater, auditorium and casino. It is also offered guided tours of the city for people who want to know more deeply the most interesting places.
World heritage city
Legend has it that the god Jupiter left his wife, the mortal Tiria, when he fell in love with Tarragona, a city that captivated him. The story tells that in the 3rd century B.C. the Romans established themselves strategically in this place.
To find out about the origins of the city one must delve into Tarraco. This was the first stable Roman military bases to be situated outside the Italian peninsula and where the backbone of Spain was to be. In 218 B.C. a city was rapidly constructed that was to be, years later, the capital of the Hispania Citerior (Hither Spain) or Tarraconensis.
Captivated by the beauty of its beaches and wonderful climate, the Romans designed a town plan that was adapted to the complicated orography of the land, with the construction of artificial terraces.
Tarragona has managed to care and respect for the legacy left to them by the Romans. As a result the Roman archaeological collection of Tarraco that lives on today was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in December 2000. The 14 elements that received this recognition were: the Roman Walls, the Imperial Cult Enclosure, the Provincial Forum, the Circus, the Amphitheatre, the Colonial Forum, the Roman Theatre, the Paleochristian Cemetery, The “Centcelles” Villa-Mausoleum, the Aqueduct, the Tower of the Scipios, the Médol Quarry, the “dels Munts” Villa and the Triumphal Arch of Berá.
Tarragona is a place that has a lot to offer in the way of leisure and free-time, the visitor will be surprised at the variety of options that can be adapted to his/her preferences. On the one hand, the more active visitors can enjoy the sports port, underwater park, the urban cave, the golf course and the heated swimming pools. For culture lovers there’s a theatre, an auditorium and a Casino. Guided tours of the city are also available for those who wish to have a more in-depth experience of the places of most interest in the city.
The city has a number of theatrical shows playing on a regular basis throughout the year, in the Metropol Theatre, in autumn, winter and spring. During the summer theatrical events take place in the Theatre Auditorium Campo de Marte, in the open air at the foot of the roman walls.
It’s also worth mentioning the theme park Port Aventura at only 10 kilometres from the city centre that welcomes thousands of visitors everyday.
Another of the great attractions can be found in the 15 kilometres of coast line that provide easily accessible beaches, attractive coves with fine sands and crystalline waters. Comfort is guaranteed with a wide range of services and options that have resulted in an annual recognition in the form of blue flags for the urban beaches and for protecting the environment on ecological beaches.
Tarragona is a city of light and colour. Its wonderful climate, Mediterranean character, friendly atmosphere and the hospitality of its people make it a great place for leisure, both festive and cultural, in the open air. Tarragona is synonymous with Fiesta (parties) and the fiesta is lived in the street.
The city hosts regular musical and theatrical productions as well as a diversity of leisure and cultural events that have gained international acclaim. Tarragona’s festive calendar covers the entire year with its range of traditional festivals, both local and regional.
Tarragona offers a wide variety of traditional festivals to its visitors, such as its carnivals. During the two weeks prior to Easter the International Dixieland Festival is celebrated, it is currently the only one of its type in Spain. Tradition and spirituality coexist at Easter in Tarragona, being the most time-honoured in Spanish Mediterranean, with its Santo Enterro procession taking place in the afternoon on Good Friday. It originated in 1550 and has been declared Traditional Festival of National Interest by the Generalitat de Catalunya.
Source: Tarragona Turisme.
Other interesting links:
TERRES DE L’EBRE www.terresdelebre.travel
COSTA DAURADA www.costadaurada.info