from the augustan temple to the cathedral

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Voilà – the cathedral of Tarragona, a monumental building!

When taking this photo I was on top of the ancient wall erected by the Romans near the Circus Maximus of Tarragona. When walking in Old Town Tarragona and beyond you’ll find quite a lot of relics of the Roman age sprinkled all over the city.

Our visit to Tarragona started with walking into Old Town to the cathedral. It was one of these very hot days in late summer: all people aka tourists enjoying wearing minimalistic summer clothes – especially when having to climb lots of steps … and walk along cobblestone alleys …

You may guess from the sunshades at the left side that there are cafés and restaurants in front of the main entrance to the cathedral. There are more than to be seen on the photo – and we enjoyed some refreshments before walking into the cathedral.

There are lots of details around the portal and also inside. The cathedral was consecrated in 1331 after delays due to new architectural plans, defense plans and the plague – and completed during the following centuries. During this years many details were added by chapels, burial chambers …

… and the beginning?
During the Roman age at the same spot an Augustan temple was erected. Some remains are still to be seen on the ground of the cathedral. Inside there is also a wing where some archaeological digging tales place – and with some imagination you may see ancient columns and arches … Later a church was built, then a mosque, then the construction of the cathedral started about the 12th century.

So an Augustan temple finally became a cathedral.

The cathedral was also the home of a monastery during the centuries. A cloistered court with an elaborate garden and small ponds is a place of quietness.

When leaving the cathedral you dive into the mess of Old Town with narrow alleys, many people, many small shops …

Finally when approaching slowly the harbour and coastline area there is the Circus Maximus. Of course the Roman racecourse has been destroyed during the centuries and only a small part is to be seen and may be visited today – let’s say it’s something like a South Stand … with a small part of the corridors and seating areas.

It’s all part of a museum now – and it’s more spacious than assumed when entering the area.

From the top of the walls encircling the Roman fun landscape and later the medieval city you’ll get a fine view of the Roman amphitheater.

It was a hot day and after some hours we were tired … although on our list there were some more relics of the Roman age scattered over the centre of Tarragona.

So … Good bye for now!

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keep it simple. be flexible. always.