Tarragona is a city located in the south of Catalonia in the north-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.
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. The lexicographer, 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 250 and 300 feet above the sea.
The Serrallo neighbourhood near the fishing harbour has some excellent fish and seafood restaurants, which are particularly popular for Sunday lunch. There is a market hall just off the Rambla Nova in the middle of town where the basics of a good picnic can be bought cheaply.
The nicest place to spend and evening is in one of Tarragona's many plazas with a glass of beer and plate of tapas. At night if you want to have some drinks and dance you should go to "El Port" (the port), there are a lot of pubs and dance locals there.
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 PortAventura, 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 where the architect Gaudí was born.
- The Cathedral of Tarragona is a Roman Catholic church in Tarragona. Located in a site previously occupied by a Roman temple dating to the time of Tiberius, a Visigothic cathedral and a Moorish mosque, it was declared a national monument in 1905. The original, early 12th century cathedral had perhaps a single nave and a large apse, and was in Romanesque style. At the time attention was posed to defensive elements, such as the massive bell tower, annexed to the sacristy. A new project was launched in 1195, changing the church's plan to a basilica one, adding two aisles and a transept with four new secondary apses, covered by cross vaults in Gothic style. The construction benefited of donations from bishops and kings Alfonso II and Peter IV of Aragon. Part of the new edifice was opened to worship under bishop Aspàreg de la Barca (1215-1234). In 1250 Pedro de Albalat ordered the construction of a tower-dome over the transept and in 1277 Bartolomeu de Gerona was commissioned the realization of the entrance gate. The tympanum and the apostles figures of the latter are however were executed by Jaume Cascalls and his workshop (including Jordi de Déu) around 1375. The new cathedral was consecrated by archbishop Juan of Aragon and Anjou, son of king James II, in 1331.
- Torre dels Escipions is a funerary tower built by the Romans on the outskirts of Tarraco, ancient Roman city that corresponds to the present city of Tarragona. The Torre dels Escipions is one of the elements of the Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It was built in the middle of the 1st century AD, to six kilometers from the city of Tarraco, capital of the Hispania Citerior, in the course of the Via Augusta, the Roman road that crossed the entire peninsula from the Pyrenees to Gades (Cadiz) and is one of the funerary monuments of the Roman era that still remain most important in the Iberian Peninsula.
- Tarragona Amphitheatre is a Roman amphitheatre built in the 2nd century AD, sited close to the forum of this provincial capital. The amphitheatre could house up to 15,000 spectators, and measured 130 x 102 m. It was built at the end of 1st century BC and the start of 2nd century BC, down from the walls and facing the sea. There are remains of a large inscription dating to the reign of Elagabalus (3rd century AD) and located in the podium.In 259, during the persecutions against the Christian order by Emperor Valerian, here the city's bishop, Fructuous, and his deacons, Augurius and Eulogius were burnt alive. After Christianity became the official religion of the empire, the amphitheatre lost its original functions. The following years part of the edifice's stones were used to build a basilica to commemorate the three martyrs. Tombs were excavated in the arena and funerary mausoleums were annexed to the church.
- The Roman Forum is a Roman archaeological site encompassing an area of 18 ha. Together with other Roman remains in the city makes the Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco, which was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2000. It was built starting from 73 AD, by order of Emperor Vespasian, and remained in use until the 5th century. The worship area is now occupied by the Cathedral and other edifices.
- The Pont de les Ferreres also known as Pont del Diable in Catalan, (English: Devil's Bridge) is a Roman bridge, part of the Roman aqueduct built to supply water to the ancient city of Tárraco. The aqueduct bridge is located 4 kilometers north of the city. The aqueduct is part of the Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco, which was added to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 2000. The Tárraco aqueduct took water from the Francolí river, 15 kilometers north of Tarragona. It probably dates from the time of Augustus. The Pont de les Ferreres is composed of two levels of arches: the upper section has 25 arches, and the lower one has 11. All arches have the same diameter of 20 Roman feet (5.9m) with a variation of 15 cm. The distance between centres of the pillars is 26 Roman feet (7.95m). It has a maximum height of 27 metres (89 ft) and a length of 249 metres (817 ft), including the ends where the specus (water channel) runs atop a wall.