What to visit in Tarragona Cathedral

In the highest part of Tarragona we can find the Tarragona Cathedral, one of the Catalan cathedrals that is worth visiting.

It is very close to the famous viewpoint from which we get great views of the Port, the railway station and the beaches,

It is a Gothic temple built on an old Roman temple, later a Visigothic one and later a mosque.

History of the Construction of the Cathedral of Tarragona

Tarragona - Cathedral - ExteriorThe ancient Roman city of Tarraco had a temple dedicated to Augustus.

This temple was adapted to the later settlers of the city until in the twelfth century it was decided to build a Christian temple.

It seems that initially the appearance of the Cathedral was going to be very different with little ornamentation and Romanesque style.

But in 1195 the plans were completely changed and it was decided to build a less austere temple with the consequent anger of the people of Tarragona due to the increase in taxes until it was decided that the contributions would be voluntary.

The works continued until the 18th century and it was restored in the final years of the 20th century.

The Exterior of the Cathedral of Tarragona

Tarragona - Cathedral - Main GateThe main facade of the Cathedral of Tarragona is accessed by going up some stairs that take you to it from the alleys of the old town.

On both sides of these stairs there are fountains from where you can already see the main door, in Gothic style with pointed arches and dominated in the center by a sculpture of the Virgin escorted by sculptures of the apostles, other saints and a scene of the Last Judgment.

On the sides of this main door there are two other smaller Romanesque doors through which the different naves of the Cathedral are accessed, and above the door there is a large rose window 12 meters in diameter.

On the side doors of the main façade we can also see two smaller rose windows.

The Interior of the Cathedral of Tarragona

Tarragona - Cathedral - CloisterWhen we access the interior of the Tarragona Cathedral we observe the presence of three naves with a transition style from Romanesque to Gothic, the central nave being higher than the lateral ones.

The Cathedral has the shape of a Latin cross and we can highlight the ribbed vaults, the octagonal dome and the three apses.

In the lateral naves we can find numerous chapels, as is usual in this type of cathedral, among which we can highlight the Chapel of Santa María.

But the most important is the one found in the central nave, the Main Chapel, where there is a spectacular Gothic alabaster altarpiece, built in the 15th century and where the sculptures of the Virgin Mary, Saint Thecla and Saint Paul stand out.

Also in that place is the Sepulcher of Juan de Aragón, who was archbishop of the city.

The cloister, the organ, the choir and the stained glass windows are other important elements to see in the Tarragona Cathedral. You should not miss either the Diocesan Museum and its collection of tapestries.

If you want to find more information you can do it on the official page of the Cathedral of Tarragona.

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