Barcelona Field Studies Centre

Roman Tarragona

The aim of the Roman Tarragona day is to introduce visitors to the history of Tarragona by means of the main monuments that survive from the ancient Roman era, when the city was at the peak of its powers. In December 2000, the city's ancient Roman archaeological complex of Tarraco was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Entrances to the archaeological remains depend upon availability and may include:

  • Roman Amphitheatre, an oval structure built in the 2nd century overlooking the sea, its stands were carved directly out of the underlying bedrock. In its day, it was the venue for fights between gladiators and against wild animals, as well as public executions.

  • The Walls (Archaeological Promenade)
    In the 2nd century B.C., a great wall was built around Tarraco, delimiting the city boundaries. The wall originally ran some 3,500 metres. Today, approximately 1,100 metres remain, bordering present-day Tarragona's Old Quarter.

  • Roman Circus and Praetorium
    Tarragona's Roman Circus was once used to hold horse and chariot races. It is considered one of the best-preserved circuses in the West, although some of the original structure remains hidden under old 19th-century buildings. The Praetorium is a Roman-era tower that once housed the stairs that connected the lower city to the provincial forum by way of the circus, to which it is connected by means of underground passageways.

Time to visit: avoid Mondays when everything is closed except: Cathedral - Diocesan Museum, and Francolí River Paleochristian Complex.