Catalonia’s Beautiful Secret – Tarragona

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Tarragona is a small Catalan town an hour away from Barcelona. Located by the sea, it’s a relaxing place full of history, mystery and unique architecture. It’s the kind of a town you would like to have your summer house in.

I got to spend a day in Tarragona and loved it. The town has one of the best conserved and most beautiful remains of the Roman architecture in Spain, which have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Apart from the exquisite ‘rubble,’ the town offers other architectural treats, such as a gorgeous mixed-style cathedral on one of the central squares. Why choose between Romanesque and Gothic if you can have both? The combination is stunning and fits right in the cobblestoned streets and colorful buildings of the neighbourhood.

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The beach is another huge advantage of Tarragona. It’s somehow healthier-looking than the ones you will find in Barcelona, and it’s less busy. It’s actually where the citizens of Barcelona rush off to for the bikini season. And no wonder; miles and miles of creamy sand and clear blue water, uninterrupted by tourists. Tarragona is so laid-back you forget all the big city buzz, which makes it the perfect weekend getaway.

One of the more interesting things about this place is right before the entrance to the town – El Puente del Diablo – The Devil’s Bridge. It’s an ancient aqueduct built in the fist century to provide newly-built Tarragona with water.

Rumour has it, after it was built, some natural disaster (possibly an earthquake) raised it to the ground. Then the devil visited the architect of the aqueduct and offered to rebuild the construction in one day and one night in exchange for the first soul that would drink the water coming through. The deal was made. The devil reconstructed the aqueduct, but he got the short end of the stick: the first soul to drink the water belonged to a donkey. Is it just me who actually feels sorry for the poor creature?

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The bridge is beautiful and it’s a quirky little story.

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