- the Roman stuff knocked down and turned it into Vizigoth stuff (around 400 AD), then...
- they knocked that down and turned it into Christian stuff (around 900 AD), then...
- they knocked that down during various internal tiffs (in the 1400's, 1600's, 1700's and 1850's)...
- and civil wars (1939 or so)...
- and World Wars (both, but mostly in 1941)...
- and then bulldozed it to build new stuff in the early 1900's on top of all of that.
|The Med on the right|
|Rebuilt, but still there|
|Portions of the seats rebuilt, portions not|
|Look in the bowl on the right|
|The small Vizigoth church|
|The walls and columns of the Christian church|
|I suspect if you went through those doors it was bad|
|2,000 year old steps|
|The back wall of the circus|
|The painting on the wall of the building puts things in context|
|Used to be stands|
|All original, only somewhat repaired|
|The other end near the Pretorian Tower|
|It just goes and goes...|
|The length of a football field|
|There are 5 side rooms, and other passages lead to the seats|
The first passage continues and connects to a passage in the Provincial Forum next door, too.
|Most of these are funary|
|Some are more simple than others|
|All date from around 100 AD|
|And this is not small|
|Me for scale. Yes, it's solid stone|
|Two 1800's era forts|
|The Cathedral -- largest in Catalynya|
|The remaining bit of the Circus|
|That inlaid stone stuff so common in Greece|
|The main drag to the Cathedral|
|If you don't like how I drive...|
In the 1800's, the Italians came in and added fortifications (to the then 1,700 year old walls) so they could withstand cannon blasts and be better defended. The Italians did a lovely job of building ramparts, fortifications and bastions along the base of the Roman walls. But the Roman Walls themselves (a) aren't very wide, and (b) in many places are the back walls of people's houses -- in some cases the INSIDE back walls. These people have, over time, put windows in the 2,000 year old walls so they could see out. One of the folks who did that was the Archbishop, who's palace backs onto the wall (build in the 1300's to obliterate any evidence of previous occupancy by other non-Catholics, like, say, the Romans or Vizigoths).
So you get to walk along the Italian fortifications from the 1800's at the base of the walls, while looking up at people's bedroom windows.
Ah, well. It's still pretty.
|The wall, petering out into buildings in this direction|
|House windows built into the wall|
|The Archbishop's Palace abutting the wall for the last 700 yrs|
|Wall on right, Italian bastion sticking out|
|Roman tower, part of someone's house|
|Cannon. One is dated 1774|
|Mostly original Roman tower|
|The wall on the left, running behind houses|
|All of these back onto the wall|
|The Archbishop''s palace, the wall just visible on the left|
|An 11th century hospital|
|Original column detail|
|14th century Gothic arches|
|Inside the archways|
|That's actually a painted wall, not what it looks like|
|A square lined with cafes|
|Bigger than it looks from the front|
|Sort of a corner view|
|Sort of another corner|
|Hey... is that the Seven Dwarfs? Can't be -- there's 8.|
|Used to be 16 on each side|
...rebuilt a part of the taburnae
|These lined the edges of the forum|
|The road, original stones and drains in place|
|Half the site|
I would have loved to have gotten to their standing aqueduct fragment -- it's 200 m long and 27 m tall and spans a valley -- but it's 5 km out of town, and hard to get to by public transit. You can also visit nearby arches and the stone quarries if you have a car.
Tarragona/Tarraco has one thing figured out: the MHT museum which runs most of these sites has a combined "visit them all" ticket good for a full year from it's first use. And the ticket costs a measly €7.20 (individual sites are just €3.30). Which partially explains why we didn't go into the Cathedral, which by itself charges €5.
Tarraco demonstrates at least one thing to me: the certainty of wholesale societal change. 400 years of Romans followed by 400 years of Vizigoths followed by 700 years of Christians (broken into multiple eras of power dominance of various stripes). Each one came, saw, conquered, and were subsequently conquered. Each one of those +400 year realms thought they would last forever (and for us, 400 years -- 16 generations or more -- is a freakin' long time). The Romans had better engineers (thus building stuff better than most). But they were all here, and "here" continues to change and evolve.