On Thursday I decided to refresh my memory of a a charming city with more concentrated Roman ruins than any other city that I have visited outside of Rome.
The history of Tarragona dates back many centuries. The imposing ramparts built of enormous Cyclopean blocks of stone indicate that it was founded by peoples from the eastern Mediterranean early in the first millennium BC. Scipios built Tarragona’s walls in the 3rd Century BC at a time when the Romans had control of the larger part of the peninsula and Tarraconensis grew into a major city and overseas capital. Although it could never equal Rome, it enjoyed many of the same privileges as the imperial capital and Augustus, Galba and Hadrian did not disdain to live in it.
The city had a coliseum, amphitheater, aqueduct, and circus. Today it is one of the Spanish cities with the most Roman remains and is the capital of the province with its name. The gardened seafront promenade skirts the cliffside and surrounds the old city and the Palace of Augustus.
In 2000, the city of Tarragona was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its wealth of archaeological remains dating back to Roman times as well as many artifacts from the Early Middle Ages..