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Catalonia, Valencia, and the Costa Blanca Travel Guide

Tarragona

With its vast Roman remains, walls, and fortifications and its medieval Christian monuments, Tarragona has been designated a World Heritage Site. The city today is a vibrant center of culture and arts, a busy fishing and shipping port, and a natural jumping-off point for the towns and pristine beaches of the Costa Daurada, 216 km (134 miles) of coastline north of the Costa del Azahar.

Though

modern Tarragona is very much an industrial and commercial city, it has preserved its heritage superbly. Stroll along the town's cliffside perimeter and you'll see why the Romans set up shop here: Tarragona is strategically positioned at the center of a broad, open bay, with an unobstructed view of the sea. As capital of the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis (from 218 BC), Tarraco, as it was then called, formed the empire's principal stronghold in Spain. St. Paul preached here in AD 58, and Tarragona became the seat of the Christian church in Spain until it was superseded by Toledo in the 11th century.

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