The remains of the city of Tarraco, named a Unesco World Heritage designation, are the typical example of a city which flourished between the 3rd and 5th century, and became the capital of the Hispania Citerior province, almost half of the Iberian Peninsula.
It's well worth starting your visit to Tarraco at the Museu Nacional Arqueològic de Tarragona, with an audiovisual interpretation of the archaeological findings. Outside, in the Passeig Arqueològic, you can see a section of the Roman defensive wall which covered the perimeter of the city, and which still has three towers that remain intact. The Provincial Forum from the 1st century, comprises a museum dedicated to the cult presided by a place of worship and a huge porticoed square (320 x 175 m), where the Provincial Council met. This is where the Government and Provincial Administration's services were located.
At one end is the Praetorian tower, which connects with the arena, where chariot races took place. It has an elongated rectangular floor plan and contains vaults, stands, remains of the façade and of the podium. Between Via Augusta and the El Miracle beach, is the amphitheatre, built at the beginning of the 2nd century, with an elliptical floor plan and the arena in the centre where the gladiators fought surrounded by the stands.
The arena has remains of a Visigoth basilica (6th-7th century) and a Romanesque church. At the northeast end of the walled enclosure is the Fòrum de la Colònia, but only the basilica can be seen, as the rest has been covered by modern buildings. The theatre was built in the port area taking advantage of the slope with the partial remains of three areas of the Roman theatre: auditorium or stands, the front seats and the scaena.
The Museu i Necròpolis Paleocristians preserves the largest open air Late Roman funeral site in the western Mediterranean, which dates back to the 3rd century, related to the Christian community of Tarraco. Outside the urban centre, you can see crucial elements, such as the the aqueduct, from the 1st century, whos most spectacular stretch is a 217 m long by 26 m high bridge known as Pont del Diable.
Another place of interest is the Mèdol quarry, with stone blocks that have been partially extracted, and the Agulla del Mèdol, monolith, which is 16 metres tall. Near the N-340 road is the Torre dels Escipions, a funerary construction from the 1st century.
Tarraco Viva, the Roman festival of Tarragona
Since 1999, in May, the city of Tarragona goes back to the times of the Roman Empire and once again becomes Tarraco. There are historical reenactments shows, conferences, music concerts and entertainment and gastronomic events to remember and promote the ancient heritage.