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Archaeological Ensemble of Tárraco

Archaeological Ensemble of Tárraco

Tárraco (modern-day Tarragona) was a major administrative and mercantile city in Roman Spain and the centre of the Imperial cult for all the Iberian provinces. It was endowed with many fine buildings, and parts of these have been revealed in a series of exceptional excavations. Although most of the remains are fragmentary, many preserved beneath more recent buildings, they present a vivid picture of the grandeur of this Roman provincial capital.

Ensemble archéologique de Tarragone

Tárraco (l'actuelle Tarragone) fut une cité administrative et marchande d'une importance considérable pour l'Espagne romaine et le centre du culte impérial pour toutes les provinces ibériques. Elle fut dotée de nombreux édifices superbes dont des parties ont été révélées par une série de fouilles exceptionnelles. Bien que la plupart des vestiges visibles soient fragmentaires et souvent préservés sous des constructions plus récentes, ils offrent une image saisissante de la grandeur de cette capitale provinciale romaine.

مجموعة تاراكو التاريخيّة

كانت تاراكو مدينةً إداريّةً وتجاريةً ذات أهميّة بالغة بالنسبة إلى اسبانيا الرومانية ومركز العبادة في جميع المقاطعات الإسبانيّة. وكان فيها العديد من المباني الرائعة وقد تمّ الكشف عن أجزاء منها إثر أعمال تنقيب استثنائيّة. مع أنّ غالبيّة الآثار المرئيّة جزئيّة ومحفوظة في غالب الأحيان تحت أبنية أحدث، إلاّ أنّها تقدّم صورةً آسرةً عن عظمة هذه العاصمة الإقليميّة الرومانيّة.

source: UNESCO/ERI

塔拉科考古遗址

塔拉科现称塔拉戈纳,原来是罗马帝国统治时期西班牙的政治和商业中心,同时也是伊比利亚岛各省的宗教中心。城中有许多精美的建筑,通过不断挖掘,这些古老的建筑一件件出现在了人们的面前。尽管许多建筑只剩下残破的碎片,或者被深埋在现有建筑物之下,但它们仍然向世人展示着这一古代罗马帝国外省首府的风貌。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Археологический комплекс Таррако (город Таррагона)

Таррако (современная Таррагона) являлся главным административным и торговым центром в древнеримской Испании и центром культа императора для всех Иберийских провинций. Город был застроен множеством прекрасных зданий, часть из которых была обнаружена в результате целой серии успешных раскопок. Хотя большая часть находок имеет фрагментарный характер, большое количество памятников сохранилось под более поздними постройками. Находки дают наглядное представление о величии этой столицы древнеримской провинции.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Conjunto arqueológico de Tarragona

Tarraco, la actual Tarragona, fue una ciudad administrativa y mercantil de gran importancia en la España romana y centro del culto imperial para todas las provincias de la Península Ibérica. Fue dotada con soberbios edificios, parte de los cuales han sido descubiertos gracias a una serie de excavaciones excepcionales. Pese a que la mayor parte de los vestigios visibles sean fragmentarios y se hallen preservados bajo construcciones más recientes, ofrecen una imagen impresionante de la grandeza de esta capital provincial romana.

source: UNESCO/ERI

タラゴーナの遺跡群
スペイン北東部、タラゴナ州の州都。旧称タラコ。紀元前197年、ローマ帝国のイベリア半島進出の拠点となった政治・経済の主要都市。皇帝崇拝の中心地で、現在の大聖堂にはアウグストゥス帝とジュピターの神殿があった。壮麗な建造物が多数建設されており、膨大な発掘作業の結果、その一部が発見された。大半は後世の建造物の下に眠っているが、それでもローマ帝国における一地方都市の住時の威厳と栄光を生き生きと描き出している。

source: NFUAJ

Archeologisch ensemble van Tárraco

Tárraco (het tegenwoordige Tarragona) was een belangrijke administratieve en handelsstad in het Romeinse Spanje en het centrum van de keizerlijke cultus in de Iberische provincies. De stad kent veel mooie gebouwen, waarvan delen zijn blootgelegd door een reeks opgravingen. De meeste overblijfselen zijn slechts fragmentarisch, maar onder recentere gebouwen zijn (completere) overblijfselen bewaard gebleven. Ze geven een levendig beeld van de grandeur van deze Romeinse provinciehoofdstad. De Romeinse overblijfselen van Tárraco waren van uitzonderlijk belang voor de ontwikkeling van Romeinse stedenbouw en stadsontwerp. Ze dienden als model voor provinciale hoofdsteden elders in het Romeinse wereld.

Source: unesco.nl

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Archaeological Ensemble of Tárraco © Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural de España. Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The Archaeological Ensemble of Tárraco is located in Tarragona, in the Autonomous Region of Catalonia, in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula. The city of Tárraco was the first and oldest Roman settlement on the Iberian Peninsula and capital of most of the peninsular territory, the province of Hispania Citerior. It was a major administrative and mercantile city in Roman Spain and the major centre of the Imperial cult for all the Iberian provinces. Tárraco was endowed with many fine buildings, and archaeological excavations have revealed parts of the Roman settlement from the foundation of the city in the Republican period (3rd century BCE) to the Early Christian Era.

The serial property encompasses a total area of 32.83 ha and is comprised of the Roman city of Tárraco, the present day city of Tarragona, and a number of elements within the surrounding territory: Roman walls, the Imperial cult enclosure, the Square with representation of the provincial forum, the Circus, the Colony forum, the Roman theatre, the Amphitheatre, the Visigoth basilica and Romanesque church, the Early Christian necropolis, the Hydraulic conduits from Tárraco to Les Ferreres aqueduct, the Tower of the Scipios, the Mèdol quarry, the Centcelles villa and mausoleum, the Els Munts villa and Berà Arch.

Tárraco is remarkable for its singular conception within Roman planning: the town plan was adapted to the configuration of the land by means of a series of artificial terraces, which can be seen around the provincial forum as well as in the residential area of the Roman city. The distribution reveals an upper part, which dominates the whole city and is devoted to representation, part provincial officialdom and part recreational. Meanwhile, following the natural contours of the ground, the residential city with its colony forum stretches out to the sea and the port. The defensive system of walls of Tárraco is one of the earliest examples of Roman military engineering on the Iberian Peninsula and the most important symbols of the town, defining its form from antiquity until the 19th century. This large group of buildings determined the layout of the existing old town, where most of the architectural elements survive. It was a large complex spread over three terraces used for high-level political purposes and to bring the communities of Hispania Citerior into the Roman Empire, as shown by the iconography of sculptural and decorative finds. The architectural details and the use of imported materials are taken as evidence of its architects and craftsmen having been brought in from Rome. The quality of the materials and marbles used is remarkable, as is the richness of the architectural and sculptural decoration, which gives an idea of the grandeur of Imperial Tárraco. The different elements built in the dependent territory of the city are also noteworthy.

 

Criterion (ii): The Roman remains of Tárraco are of exceptional importance in the development of Roman urban planning and design and served as the model for provincial capitals elsewhere in the Roman world.

Criterion (iii): Tárraco provides eloquent and unparalleled testimony to a significant stage in the history of the Mediterranean lands in antiquity.

 

Integrity

Owing to the importance of the buildings that made up this complex and the limited technical resources available to the builders of the mediaeval city, the Roman architectural and town planning elements have endured impressively in the modern topography of the historical centre of Tarragona, along with the monumental elements that are still present in the territory of Tárraco.

The urban fabric is preserved and has been recovered with the main buildings of public life of the capital of the Roman province of Hispania Citerior and the military centre having been identified.

Although many of the remains are fragmentary, many continue to be preserved beneath more recent buildings and can present a vivid picture of the grandeur of this Roman provincial city. Archaeological excavations have uncovered the structures of the port zone, the area with the colony forum, the baths, the Roman theatre, the amphitheatre and the circus, and the upper part of the city or cult area with the provincial forum. These elements portray the foundation, phases of construction and splendour and decline of the city and together illustrate the significance of the urban fabric of the whole.

Additional attributes, such as the Ferreres aqueduct, the Centcelles mausoleum, Els Munts Roman villa, the Berà Arch, the Tower of the Scipios and the Mèdol quarry, one of the sources of supply of blocks for building, also contribute to the understanding of the property.

The overall state of conservation of the archaeological remains is good and buildings and monuments retain their ability to reveal their importance and their roles and functions in relation to the Roman city.

 

Authenticity

The authenticity of the excavated sites is complete. The authenticity of the upstanding monuments such as the Amphitheatre, the Arc de Berá, and the Tower of the Scipios is equally high, since they have not been subject to any form of reconstruction (although the amphitheatre has undergone modifications of its form over the centuries since it ceased to be used for its original function). The remains of ancient structures incorporated in later buildings are also authentic, even though they are fragmentary and the current use of the buildings of which they form part is different from the original function.

Ancient sources, texts, epigraphs, numismatics and fundamentally archaeology itself also confirm the authenticity of the complex and its outstanding importance.

 

Protection and management requirements

Legal protection for the property is granted by Law 16/1985 of the Spanish Historical Heritage, and in Catalonia by Law 9/1993 of the Catalan Historical Heritage. Decree 652/1966 established Tarragona and the archaeological subsoil as a historical complex and appears as such on the register of National Items of Cultural Interest. The monumental buildings of Tárraco and their surroundings have also been declared National Items of Cultural Interest in categories that include historical complex, historical monument and archaeological zone.

Administrative responsibility falls to the Cultural Heritage Directorate of the Catalan Government Department of Culture. The interventions to be carried out must have the approval of the Tarragona Territorial Committee for Cultural Heritage. The property rights vary from one monument to another: monuments may belong to the Catalan Government, Tarragona Council or even private individuals, as is the case with some of the larger sites (wall or circus). Each site is managed by the administration that owns it: Catalan Government or Tarragona Council.

A series of regulations, legislative protection measures and management plans have been established to ensure the proper protection of a city that is constantly changing and growing. To that end, a large number of excavations, conservation and presentation measures have been and continue to be carried out with a series of plans and projects for conserving the different attributes of the property and to maintain the conditions of authenticity and integrity. Planning tools include the Plan for the Municipal Urban Organisation of Tarragona, the General Urban Organisation of Roda de Barà and the agreements of the Catalan Government Territorial Committee for Cultural Heritage.

The Roman city of Tárraco, like all archaeological sites partly located in a modern city, may seem vulnerable to constant threats from urban pressures, which at times hinder maintenance of the attributes of the property.

At present, the new Municipal Urban Organisation Plan, the agreements of the Territorial Committee for Cultural Heritage, which depends on the Catalan Government and the projects for the monuments guarantee adequate treatment of the sites.

Management arrangements could include a consortium that would be governed by a Royal Patronage so as to better articulate the actions and actors that manage the ensemble of monuments and museums, with their surroundings and contents, in the city of Tarragona. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, the Catalan Government and Tarragona Town Council would be part of the Roman Tárraco Consortium.