Tarraco, the ancient capital of

Roman Hispania

I have uploaded images and video from my July 2019 visit to Tarragona, Spain. Why Tarragona? It was near Tarragona, in 218BC, that Hanno confronted the newly arrived Romans and lost the battle of Cissa. Called Tarraco at the time, it became the principal city for all of Roman Hispania and is blessed with an abundance of well-preserved ruins dating back to its Roman past.

The Pont del Diable or Les Ferreres aqueduct was built in the 1st century AD during the reign of Augustus. The aqueduct stands 27 meters high and is 249 meters long. It was used to divert water from the Francoli river 15km south to Tarraco, the provincial capital of Hispania.

The remarkably preserved aqueduct is 4km north of Tarragona and with plenty of parking and free access, is a must for lovers of ancient architecture and history.

If you love visiting ancient monuments or the lure of all things Roman, the city of Tarragona in North-East Spain has a remarkable heritage. The Roman Amphitheater is a testament to the engineers of ancient Rome and standing where men and women contested for their lives against gladiators and beasts you can almost hear the roar and bay of the crowds. The amphitheater overlooks the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea and is a stone's throw (okay, maybe an onager's throw) from the Roman Circus and Forum.

Set on the Via Augusta and alongside the provincial forum, the Tarraco Circus was constructed during the reign of  Emperor Domitian, and was the setting for horse and chariot races.

The arena measured 325m in length and was 115m wide. Again, the scale of the ancient walls still standing is impressive as are the ancient stones, statues and many other archaeological pieces on display.  

National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona

The museum, part of the Roman Europe network of museums, was closed for renovations but provided an exhibition of eight centuries of the history in Tarraco, the first Roman foundation on the Iberian Peninsula and the capital of Hispania Citerior, the largest province in the Roman Empire. Well worth a visit with some remarkable objects on display.

Author J. Glenn Bauer

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