MAY 26, 2004

FULL-- no more seats available.

Auto Coach will depart for Tarragona from the Gran Ducat Hotel at 9:30 AM.

The origin of present day Tarragona goes back to the 6th century BC when it was an Iberian enclave (Kesse.) Greek writers referred to it as Callipolis, which was famous for its high walls. In 218 B.C. Tarragona was captured by the Romans during the 2nd Punic War and incorporated into the Roman Empire. The Romans named it Tarraco and made it the capital of the province of Tarraconensis. Julius Caesar, Augustus, and Hadrian each lived for a time in Tarraco. By the 1st century AD the city had a population of 40,000. In 476 the Visigoths captured and brought great destruction to the city. The Moors arrived in 713-14 and occupied the city until Ramon Berenguer III recovered it in 1118. Construction began on the Cathedral in 1171 and the University of Tarragona was established in 1572.


1. The Cathedral
The most important medieval monument in the city is the Cathedral of St. Tecla, which is situated, in the highest part of the city. The church was built during the transitional period from Romanesque to Gothic and shows characteristics of both styles. Attached to the Cathedral is the 12th-13th century cloister.






2. The Roman Amphitheater
Built at the beginning of the 2nd Century AD, it held 14,000 spectators.





3. Roman Forum
The Roman Forum included various related buildings, among which the most significant is the Basilica. Next to it, there is a square and the remains of a block of Roman houses and a street.






4. The Praetorium
The original structure was built in the 1st century during the reign of Vespesian. St. Hermenguild was executed here in 585. It was rebuilt in the 14th century and served as a palace for the Aragonese kings.

5. Roman/Medieval Walls and the 14th-century Archbishop's tower






6. Walk through the old town with its impressive medieval streets and structures.

7. For those interested there is the impressive collection in the National Archaeological Museum and Necropolis and Paleo-Christian Museum. (These activities will be on your own.

Lunch will be on your own. There are a number of excellent and inexpensive restaurants in the old city.

Bus will return to Barcelona at 3:30 P.M.

Take a virtual tour of Tarragona.