Tarragona is a city located in the south of Catalonia and east of Spain, by the Mediterranean Sea. It is the capital of the catalan comarca Tarragonès. As of the 2005 census, the city had a population of 128,152, and the population of the entire urban area (including Reus, etc) was estimated to be 348,921.
In Roman times, the city was named Tarraco and was capital of the province of Hispania Tarraconensis (after being capital of Hispania Citerior in the Republican era). The Roman colony founded at Tarraco had the full name of Colonia Iulia Urbs Triumphalis Tarraco.
Some experts suggest that the city was an Iberic town called Kesse or Kosse, derived of the iberic tribe of those region: the cosetians.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. It was seated on the river Sulcis or Tulcis ( Francolí), on a bay of the Mare Internum (Mediterranean Sea), between the Pyrenees and the river Iberus ( Ebro). Livy mentions a portus Tarraconis; and according to Eratosthenes it had a naval station or roads; but Artemidorus) says with more probability that it had none, and scarcely even an anchoring place; and Strabo himself calls it ἀλίμενος. 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. Tarraco lies on the main road along the south-eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. 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.
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. According to Mela (l. c.) it was the richest town on that coast, and Strabo (l. c.) represents its population as equal to that of Carthago Nova (modern Cartagena). Its fertile plain and sunny shores are celebrated by Martial and other poets; and its neighborhood is described as producing good wine and flax.
Tarragona tourist attractions include the Museum of Archaeology and the Roman ruins of Tarraco, which has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Tarragona is located near the holiday resort of Salou and the Universal Studios theme park Port Aventura. Tarragona has a wall surrounding the old city. There are two gates through the wall of Tarragona: the Portal del Roser and the Portal de Sant Antoni.
Carnivals in Tarragona.
One of the most important and interesting carnivals in Catalonia, with one of the most complete ritual sequences of the Catalan carnivals, so local and so universal that this is the synthesis that makes it special. Official website
One of the most important roman recreations of the world. A lot of groups around Europe recreate the roman world: from the roman legions, to the daily live. It's celebrated between 10th and 20th May.
Sant Magí Festival in Tarragona
The second traditional religious festival in Tarragona, between 15th and 19th August. Official website
Santa Tecla Festival in Tarragona
One of the most important mediterranean traditional festivals, between 15th and 24th September. It has been celebrated since 1321 and it has been considered of national touristic interest by the state are some of the main activities. Official website