A weekend in Imperial Tarragona, the other Rome

Tarragona was once described as the city of eternal spring, and it is very true. As soon as you arrive, the freshness of the sea breeze on your cheeks makes you aware that what you see is not a mirage; the intense blue of the Mediterranean merges with the vivid gold of its millenary constructions, giving rise to one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever contemplated.

The great city wall rises like a giant with its cyclopean stones of more than 2000 years of history, surrounding what was one of the most important cities of the great Roman Empire, the capital of Hispania Citerior or Tarraconensis, and we are immensely lucky to have it as part of our territory!

Un cap de setmana a l’Imperial Tàrraco Muralles Romanes de Tarragona, A weekend in Imperial Tarragona
The Walls (Archaeological Promenade)

Enjoy the Archaeological Walk

Hand in hand with the fantastic tour guides, I literally walked through history among narrow alleys of small houses, dotted here and there, with architectural elements reused from Roman times, such as the beautiful funerary stele with their writings in Latin where the beloved deceased and her husband are remembered for all eternity.

Estela funerari encastada en paret d'habitatge de la difunta Fabia Saturnina Un cap de setmana a l’Imperial Tàrraco, A weekend in Imperial Tarragona

And all this watched over by the Cathedral of Tarragona, which proudly looks down on the vast territory it dominates with the sound of its old bells.

Un cap de setmana a l’Imperial Tàrraco, A weekend in Imperial Tarragona
Cathedral of Tarragona

And what can you say when you are in front of the two most spectacular jewels of Tarraco: The Roman Circus and the Amphitheatre!

While you admire the Roman Circus, where the chariots were spinning at full speed, you seem to hear in the background the noise of the public totally devoted to the spectacle offered by the skilful horsemen. And just behind, next to the Miracle Beach, the Amphitheatre stands proudly with its imposing figure outlined against the intense blue of the sea. Many gladiators bled in that same arena, feeling in the background the clamorous cries of an audience totally enraptured by the spectacle offered by those brave warriors!

When the sun is setting and night is slowly falling, we can discover the other side of the beautiful Tarraco

When the sun is setting and night is slowly falling, we can discover the other side of the beautiful Tarraco. Now its golden stones are illuminated by the warm light of the streetlamps in a fully magical way, transporting us back to a very distant era among the long, dark corridors of the Roman Circus, all enlivened by the tasting of delicious wines from this millenary land in an idyllic setting: the rooftop of the Praetorian Tower.

At my feet, the old Tarraco blends with the modern Tarragona in a totally masterful way. Bravo Tarragona! Few cities learn to coexist with millenary remains without getting tangled up in the always vertiginous progress.

Un cap de setmana a l’Imperial Tàrraco, A weekend in Imperial Tarragona
View of Tarragona from the Praetorian Tower

Tarragona is much more, Tarragona is Living History!

But Tarragona is much more than spectacular views or incredible archaeological remains, Tarragona is a good rest in a cosy flat behind the Cathedral, it is an excellent meal of fresh seafood in El Serrallo, it is centuries-old traditions through its castellers and giants, it is extensive beaches of fine sand… Tarragona is Living History!

Texts and photos: @Zenobia_Palmira

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