Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 26 >> Tao Te King to Telegraphy >> Tarragona

Tarragona

town, spain and province

TARRAGONA, tar-ea-Oink Spain, a sea port town on the Mediterranean, capitol of a province of the same name, in Catalonia, 60 miles west-southwest of Barcelona, at the east ern end of the fertile Campo de Tarragona, which is watered by the river Francoli. The old town, situated on a high rocky site, once surmounted by a citadel, has narrow, irregular streets. The chief features are the splendid cathedral, dating from the 12th to 13th century, with a fine west facade and cloisters of great beauty, the archiepiscopal palace, with an an cient tower, and a seminary for priests. The Plaza de la Fuente, on the site of the Roman Circus, separates the old town from the more regular new town to the southwest, which, near where it joins the old town, is crossed by two broad tree-shaded streets. The Paseo de Santa Clara is a fine promenade on the re mains of the old Roman walls. The other edi fices include the presido or prison, the Torreon de Pilatos, also a prison, the Casa Provincial de Beneficencia, artillery arsenal, infantry bar racks, etc. The town and its neighborhood are

rich in Roman remains, The spacious harbor is sheltered by a long mole, and has been recently improved. Tarragona was known to the Ro mans as Tarraco. It was captured by the Romans 218 B.C. during the Second Punic War, and made their headquarters in Spain. It is also associated with Julius Caesar and Augustus, the latter of whom made it the capital of the province of Hispania Tarraconensis. It was taken by the Visigoths in 475 A.D., and by the Moors in 713. On 29 June 1811 it was captured and plundered by the French under Suchet. Its archbishop shares with the archbishop of Toledo the title of primate of Spain. Pop., town, 24,548; province, 336,763.