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Tarragona
—  City  —
View of Tarragona

Flag

Coat of arms
Location of Tarragona in Catalonia
Tarragona is located in Spain
Tarragona
Location of Tarragona in Spain
Coordinates: 41°06′56.51″N 1°14′58.54″E / 41.1156972°N 1.2495944°E / 41.1156972; 1.2495944Coordinates: 41°06′56.51″N 1°14′58.54″E / 41.1156972°N 1.2495944°E / 41.1156972; 1.2495944
Country  Spain
Autonomous Community  Catalonia
Province Tarragona
Comarca Tarragonès
Founded 5th century BC
Government
 - Mayor Josep Fèlix Ballesteros (PSC)
Area
 - Total 181.60 km2 (70.1 sq mi)
Elevation (AMSL) 68 m (223 ft)
Population (2009)
 - Total 140,323
 Density 772.7/km2 (2,001.3/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 43001 - 43008
Area code(s) +34 (Spain) + (Tarragona)
Website Official website
Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

View of Roman Circus
State Party  Spain
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iii
Reference 875
Region** Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 2000  (24th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.

Tarragona (Catalan pronunciation: [tərəˈɣonə]) is a city located in the south of Catalonia and east of Spain, by the Mediterranean. It is the capital of the Spanish province of the same name and the capital of the Catalan comarca Tarragonès. In the medieval and modern times it was the capital of the Vegueria of Tarragona. As of the 2009 census, the city had a population of 140,323, and the population of the entire metropolitan area was estimated to be 675,921.[citation needed]

Contents

History

In Roman times, the city was named Tarraco (Ταρρακών) and was capital of the province of Hispania Tarraconensis (after being capital of Hispania Citerior in the Republican era).[1] The Roman colony founded at Tarraco had the full name of Colonia Iulia Urbs Triumphalis Tarraco.

The city may have begun as an Iberic town called Kesse or Kosse, named for the Iberic tribe of the region, the Cosetans, though the identification of Tarragona with Kesse is not certain.[2] Smith suggests that the city was probably founded by the Phoenicians, who called it 'Tarchon, which, according to Samuel Bochart, means a citadel. This name was probably derived from its situation on a high rock, between 700 and 800 feet above the sea; whence we find it characterised as arce potens Tarraco.[3] It was seated on the river Sulcis or Tulcis (modern Francolí), on a bay of the Mare Internum (Mediterranean), between the Pyrenees and the river Iberus (modern Ebro).[4] Livy mentions a portus Tarraconis;[5] and according to Eratosthenes it had a naval station or roads (Ναύσταθμον);[6] but Artemidorus says with more probability that it had none, and scarcely even an anchoring place; and Strabo himself calls it ἀλίμενος.[7]

View of Gothic quarter and Cathedral of Tarragona.

This answers better to its present condition; for though a mole was constructed in the 15th century with the materials of the ancient amphitheatre, and another subsequently by an Englishman named John Smith, it still affords but little protection for shipping.[8] Tarraco lies on the main road along the south-eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.[9] It was fortified and much enlarged by the brothers Publius and Gnaeus Scipio, who converted it into a fortress and arsenal against the Carthagenians. Subsequently it became the capital of the province named after it, a Roman colony, and conventus juridicus.[10]

Augustus wintered at Tarraco after his Cantabrian campaign, and bestowed many marks of honor on the city, among which were its honorary titles of Colonia Victrix Togata and Colonia Julia Victrix Tarraconensis. The city also minted coins.[11] According to Mela it was the richest town on that coast,[12] and Strabo represents its population as equal to that of Carthago Nova (modern Cartagena).[12] Its fertile plain and sunny shores are celebrated by Martial and other poets; and its neighborhood is described as producing good wine and flax.[13]

Main sights

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Ancient remains

The Roman ruins of Tarraco have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Part of the bases of large Cyclopean walls near the Cuartel de Pilatos are thought to pre-date the Romans. The building just mentioned, a prison in the 19th century, is said to have been the palace of Augustus. The 2nd century amphitheatre, near the sea-shore, was extensively used as a quarry after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and but few vestiges of it now remain. A circus, c. 450 m long, was built over in the area now called Plaça de la Font, though portions of it are still to be traced. Throughout the town Latin, and even apparently Phoenician, inscriptions on the stones of the houses mark the meterial used for buildings in the town.

Two ancient monuments, at some little distance from the town, have, however, fared rather better. The first of these is the Aqüeducte de les Ferreres, which spans a valley about 4 km north of the city. It is 217 m (711.94 ft) in length, and the loftiest arches, of which there are two tiers, are 26 m (85.30 ft) high. There is a monument about 6 km along the coast road east of the city, commonly called the "Tower of the Scipios"; but there is no authority for assuming that they were buried here.[14]

Other Roman buildings include:

  • the walls, with two gates: Portal del Roser and the Portal de Sant Antoni.
  • the capitol, or citadel
  • the Forum
  • the palace of Augustus, called the house of Pilate
  • the circus or amphitheatre
  • the so-called tower, or sepulchre, of the Scipios
  • arch of Sura, or of Bara
  • the Aurelian Way.

The city is also home to an archaeological museum.

Religious buildings

Tarragona Cathedral.

The cathedral, it is believed, was begun by St. Olegarius. The solid edifice is solid combines Romanesque, Arabic, and Gothic styles of architecture. Its façade is composed of three sections, and the ground plan, in the form of a Latin cross, has a nave and two aisles, with a wide transept. In the right aisle is the chapel of St. Tecla, patroness of the city, begun in 1760 under the direction of Don José Prats and finished in 1776. The baptismal font is a marble basin found in the ruins of the palace of Augustus. The chapter house, celebrated for the councils held there, has a Byzantine door and a dome. As late as the 15th century the cathedral had not yet been completed, as the sculpture work on the main altar began only 1426. The choir was not finished until 1493. The chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, the organ, built by the cura of Tivisa, Don Jaime Amigó, the stained glass, etc. date from the 16th century.

Other churches in the city include:

  • the convent of the Poor Clares, near the walls
  • The convent of Santa Teresa
  • The church of the Capuchins, the parish church of the port
  • The former convent of San Francisco
  • The Jesuit college was turned into barracks, their church, however, has been restored to them
  • The convent of the Dominicans, now the town hall
  • The archiepiscopal palace, situated on the site of the ancient capitol, one tower of which still remains. It was rebuilt in the 19th century.
  • Near the sea, in the Roman amphitheatre, is the edifice called el Milagro (the Miracle), which belonged to the Knights Templar. It was afterwards used by the Trinitarian Fathers, and has since been converted into a penitentiary.

The seminary of San Pablo and Santa Tecla was founded in 1570 by the cardinal archbishop, Gaspar de Cervantes, and was the first to comply with the decrees of the Council of Trent. In 1858 Archbishop José Domingo Costa y Borrás built a fourth wing. Benito Villamitjana built a new seminary behind the cathedral in 1886, in the courtyard of which stands the old chapel of San Pablo. Pope Leo XIII raised this to the rank of a pontifical university.

Otuside the city is the monastery of Poblet, founded in 1151 by Ramón Berenguer IV, which was used for sepultures of the kings of Aragon.

Modern Tarragona

Tarragona is home to a large port and the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Much of its economic activity comes from a large number of chemical industries located in the city or in surrounding areas.

The main living heritage is the Popular Retinue, a great parade of dances, bestiary and spoken dances- and the human towers. They specially participate in Santa Tecla Festival. They are so popular in Tarragona and also in all Catalonia that they have got their own home. It is called "Casa de la Festa", Festivities House, where you can visit them all the year. [1]

A number of beaches, some awarded a Blue Flag designation, line the Mediterranean coast near the city.

Tarragona is located near the holiday resort of Salou and the theme park Port Aventura, one of the largest in Europe.

The city is located a few kilometers away from Reus Airport, which has many low-cost destinations and charter-flights (over a million passengers per year). Reus is the second city of Tarragona area (101,767 inhabitants in 2006), known by its commercial activity and for being the place were the architect Gaudí was born.

Events

Entrance of the Tarragona Cathedral.
Carrer Major during Santa Tecla Festival.

Tarragona is also a candidate to be the Spanish representative as European Capital of Culture in 2016.

Twin towns — Sister cities

Tarragona is twinned with:

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ Ptolemy, ii. 6. § 17)
  2. ^ Silvia Orvietani Busch (2001). Medieval Mediterranean Ports: The Catalan and Tuscan Coasts, 1100 to 1235. BRILL. p. 53. ISBN 9004120696. 
  3. ^ (Auson. Class. Urb. 9; cf. Mart. x. 104.)
  4. ^ (Mela, ii. 6; Plin. iii. 3. s. 4.)
  5. ^ (xxii. 22)
  6. ^ (ap. Strabo iii. p. 159)
  7. ^ (ap. Strab. l. c.; Polyb. iii. 76)
  8. ^ (Ford's Handbook of Spain, p. 222.)
  9. ^ (Itin. Ant. pp. 391, 396, 399, 448, 452.)
  10. ^ Pliny l. c.; Tacitus Ann. i. 78; Gaius Julius Solinus 23, 26; Polybius x. 34; Livy xxi. 61; Stephanus of Byzantium p. 637.
  11. ^ (Grut. Inscr. p. 382; Orelli, no. 3127; coins in Eckhel, i. p. 27; Florez, Med. ii. p. 579; Théodore Edme Mionnet, i. p. 51, Suppl. i. p. 104; Sestini, p. 202.)
  12. ^ a b (l. c.)
  13. ^ (Mart. x. 104, xiii. 118; Sil. Ital. iii. 369, xv. 177; Plin. xiv. 6. s. 8, xix. 1. s. 2.)
  14. ^ (Cf. Ford, Handbook, p. 219, seq.; Florez, Esp. Sagr. xxix. p. 68, seq.; Miñano, Diccion. viii. p. 398.)

External links

ko;타라고나


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