BarcelonaTravelHacks home logo

Summary for Roman Tarragona Circus And Pretorium

Views: 256. Updated: Oct 10, 2021 by: Barcelona Travel Hacks

"Roman Tarragona Circus And Pretorium"

Roman circus (chariot racing arena) and Praetorium building with substantial vaults. Open to the public as part of the Museum of History Tarragona (MHT).

Address: Rambla Vella 2, Tarragona. 43003

Summary of prices for Roman Tarragona Circus And Pretorium

Train/Bus Fare Entry Ticket Additional Information
Adult 16.10 Euros 3.30 Euros Students, Over 65 years, 1.70 Euros
Child 16.10 Euros Free For under 16 Years
Group/Family Ticket: See Website.
Notes: Combined ticket for all MHT 11.05 Euros.
Free day:

Tags for Roman Tarragona Circus And Pretorium

About Roman Tarragona Circus And Pretorium

Views: 256. Updated: Oct 10, 2021 by: Barcelona Travel Hacks

Roman Tarragona Circus History

The circus was the most popular mass spectacle in the Roman world because of the chariot races, pulled by two or four horses.

The building dates from the end of the first century AD, during the reign of Domitian, and was part of the large provincial monumental complex, of which it occupied the lower terrace.

The Roman circus of Tarraco had dimensions of approximately 325 meters in length and a width of between 100 and 115 meters. It was built on powerful cement vaults that fulfilled a double function: on the one hand, they were the foundation on which the steps, the stairs and the upper platform were based; on the other, they served as internal corridors that made it possible to distribute spectators throughout the building, much like a modern arena today. In this network of vaults rested the upper platform of the building and the bleachers, arranged along three of the sides, while in the fourth were the exit point of the carts.

The grandstand was separated from the arena (the space where the show took place) by a wall more than 2 meters high, the podium, which had the function of protecting spectators in the event of any kind of accident during the show. Approximately in the centre of one of the long sides of the circus, the northern one, and attached to the buildings that made up the provincial forum, was the pulvinar.

One of the short sides of the building was occupied by dungeons, in which twelve exit chambers were generally opened, six on each side of a main door. Recent archaeological excavations have located these structures in the basement of the current Tarragona City Council building. The prisons were flanked by a tower. The whole sector was known as the oppidum . The organizer of the games (editor spectaculorum), who had the honour of starting the races, Could view the races from a space on the terrace above the prisons, while the magistrates who controlled the race, the correct behaviour of the chariots and the order of arrival, a tribune (tribunal iudicum) was reserved for them.

Current data suggest that during the 5th century the building was lost, at least partially its original function. Some of the vaults that formed it came to be occupied as room spaces.

Roman Tarragona Circus Current condition

Much of the huge Arena has now been built upon by what is the old centre of modern Tarragona city. What remains are a corner of the circus, the gate and some long tunnels underneath.

Roman Tarragona Praetorium History

Around 73 AD, during the reign of Emperor Vespasian, the Provincial Forum was built in the upper part of the city. It had the function of running the province from a political and economic point of view. The governing body of the new administrative network was the Consilium Provinciae Hispaniae Citerioris (Provincial Council) of which the governor was an active part.

The site chosen to establish government offices was the highest part of the city, a state-owned space since its founding with a total area of about 7.5 hectares.

The Provincial Forum was divided into two terraces taking advantage of the unevenness of the terrain. On the upper terrace was located the imperial place of worship and below, the representation square. On a third terrace was the circus that, built a few years later, completed the monumental complex.

The representation square was the building from where the whole province was managed. There were spaces as important as the tabular (state archive) or the ark (state box). To facilitate access to the various sectors of the building, a series of side towers were enabled that served as stairwells.

The provincial complex was articulated in a unitary way through an axis of symmetry that, in a northwest / southeast direction, connected the temple of imperial worship, in the highest part, with the pulvinar of the circus by a processional route that crossed longitudinally the intermediate terrace. On both sides of this road were distributed a series of statues of which only the pedestals are preserved.

The Provincial Forum ceased to function structurally at the beginning of the 5th century. From that moment on, the administrative area was reduced to much smaller spaces that are, for now, unknown. In terms of architecture, most of the high-imperial buildings entered a continuous process of dismantling walls and materials that were reused in the construction of the civil and religious buildings of the late Roman and medieval Tarraco.

Roman Tarragona Praetorium Current condition

What remains today is a side tower with large internal staircase used to connect the terrace levels of Roman Tarragona. Inside this space are preserved exhibits of statues, stone coffins and stone carvings. In this building it is possible to access the roof terrace viewpoint and look over modern day Tarragona.

There are 5 Nearby Attractions

"Roman Tarragona Amphitheatre"

Roman Tarragona Amphitheatre

Substantial ruins of Roman amphitheatre from 2nd Century and now a museum open to the public as part of the Museum of History Tarragona (MHT).
Views: 247
Updated: Oct 10, 2021
"Cathedral De Tarragona"

Cathedral De Tarragona

Roman Cathedral or Moorish temple, cloister and Diocesan Museum, Building dates back to 1154. Open for visits depending on local religious festivals.
Views: 328
Updated: Oct 10, 2021
"Roman Tarragona Wall And Gardens"

Roman Tarragona Wall And Gardens

Substantial remains of the old roman city wall surrounded by ornate gardens and later fortifications of cannons.
Views: 299
Updated: Oct 10, 2021
"Roman Tarragona Pont Del Diable Aquaduct"

Roman Tarragona Pont Del Diable Aquaduct

One of two roman viaducts crossing valleys on the outskirts of Tarragona. Preserved in woodland park. Walk up embankment and along the top of viaduct.
Views: 277
Updated: Oct 10, 2021
"Tarragona to Tamarit and Altafulla Coastal Walk"

Tarragona to Tamarit and Altafulla Coastal Walk

An EASY 14Km linear Coastal walk via GR92 from Tarragona passing Abandoned Hospital de Arrabassada, Beaches, coves, watchtower, pine forest trails and Tamarit Castle.
Views: 298
Updated: Oct 11, 2021

Visiting Roman Tarragona Circus And Pretorium

Views: 256. Updated: Oct 10, 2021 by: Barcelona Travel Hacks

There is a ticket office in the circus building with access via the roundabout. You can buy a single ticket or a combined ticket for all MHT attractions. Discounts are available for over 65's, children and students. Although the circus and Praetorium are separate buildings they are interlinked by a tunnel and staircase so you can transfer between the two with a combined ticket.

Roman Tarragona Circus and Praetorium opening hours

Summer: 1st April to 30 September.

Tuesday to Friday: 09:00h to 20:30h.

Saturday: 09:00h to 18:30h.

Sunday and Holiday's: 09:00h to 14:30h.

Closed: Monday's and 5th April.

Open mornings only: 1st May, 24th June, 19th August, 11th September and 23rd September.

Winter: 1st October to 31 March.

Tuesday to Friday: 09:00h to 19:00h.

Saturday: 09:00h to 18:30h.

Sunday and Holiday's: 09:00h to 14:30h.

Closed: Monday's, 24th December, 25th December, 26th December, 31st December, 1st January, 6th January, 1st November.

Open mornings only: 12th October, 6th December, 8th December.

Free Entry:International museum day in May, 19th August, 18th September, 23rd September, 8,8 and 10th October. The last Tuesday of January, February, march, May, October, November and December.

Access closes 30 minutes before final closing time.

Getting To Roman Tarragona Circus And Pretorium

From Barcelona there are frequent REGIONAL trains with a journey time of about 1 hour 10 minutes, departing from Barcelona-Estacio de franca, Barcelona-passeig de Gracia and Barcelona-Sants.

Weather for Tarragona

There are 3 PDF files for Roman Tarragona Circus And Pretorium

Views: 256. Updated: Oct 10, 2021 by: Barcelona Travel Hacks

Click on a pdf document icon to open in full screen viewer.

Tarragona City Map PDF: Tarragona City Map
Tarragona Train Map PDF: Tarragona Train Map
Author: Barcelona Travel Hacks
Regional Rail Map PDF: Regional Rail Map

Wikiloc Route for Roman Tarragona Circus And Pretorium

Views: 256. Updated: Oct 10, 2021 by: Barcelona Travel Hacks

Powered by Wikiloc

By using this site you agree to our Terms and Conditions.

Terms and Conditions BarcelonaTravelHacks

Updated: Jun 3, 2021 by: Barcelona Travel Hacks

Please read these terms and conditions carefully before using Barcelona Travel Hacks website.

Conditions of Use

The information provided in this website is correct at time of writing and Barcelona Travel Hacks accepts no liability for any issues that may arise from any of the information.


Content published on this website (PDFs, images, texts, graphics, logos) by default is the property of Barcelona Travel Hacks or where author is another entity, they are the copywrite owner. Its content creators are protected by international copyright laws. The entire compilation of photos found on this website is the exclusive property of Barcelona Travel Hacks with copyright authorship for this compilation by Barcelona Travel Hacks.

License and Site Access

We grant you a limited license to access and make personal use of this website. You are not allowed to download or modify it. This may be done only with written consent from us.

Please Accept these before using the site.