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Roman Tarragona returns

From May 17th to 27th, the 14th edition of 'Tarraco Viva' will be held in Tarragona. Last year, over 82,000 people visited this festival, an increase of 186% compared to 2007. 'Tarraco Viva' is a festival which takes over the Roman city, allowing the audience to witness many historical recreations and performances that allow them to imagine how people lived 2,000 years ago.

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17 May 2012 06:13 PM

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ACN / Pol Masdeu

Tarragona (ACN).- From May 17th to 27th, the 14th edition of 'Tarraco Viva' will be held in Tarragona. Last year, over 82,000 people visited this festival, an increase of 186% compared to 2007. 'Tarraco Viva' is a festival which takes over the Roman city, allowing the audience to witness many historical recreations and performances that allow them to imagine how people lived 2,000 years ago.


Tarragona was the most important city of the Iberian Peninsula in Roman times. For that reason, many buildings have been preserved for over 2,000 years and some of them remain virtually intact. Nowadays, you can still walk through Roman walls or visit the amphitheatre.

The city lights up for the festival. Many local people organise historical performances where visitors can see the gladiators fight, how people cooked and hunted, the clothes, trades or even what music rang out 2,000 years ago. However, 'Tarraco Viva' is more than just a festival of historical representations. There is also a didactic side to this festival as many lectures and conferences are offered. Rafael López-Monné, photographer and professor at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili at Tarragona, said that \u201Cthe intention of the festival is to let people know about Tarragona and to project the great historical heritage of the city to the outside world\u201D.

The organisation hopes to equal the 82,000 visitors from last year. The festival director, Magí Seritjol, ensures that the \u201Cfestival generates, just with tourists, an economic impact of more than \u20AC3 million\u201D.

According to the organisation, the Festival aims: to spread knowledge of ancient history, to raise the awareness of the importance of preservation of historical heritage, to create a quality cultural product, to provide space for participation, to create a framework for the meeting of museum managers or archaeological sited creators, to encourage the creation of historical performances and to promote an interest in history for children. For all these reasons, activities are either free or very cheap. The highest ticket price, according to capacity and the type of show, is just five euros.

Participants from all around the world

In addition to local companies, participation from outside Catalonia is also significant. There are groups coming from other Spanish Autonomies, for instance from the Basque Country, Cantabria or Aragon. But foreign participation is important. There are four collaborators from Italy, two from Germany and one from France. According to Rafael López-Monné, \u201Cworking in Tarragona for the best European festival of its kind gives them prestige and foreign companies know that\u201D.

Furthermore, Tarragona also receives visitors from abroad. Magí Seritjol explained that 6% of last year visitors were foreigners.

Where the shows take place

The performances are represented in different places all over the city. Many of them happen in the ruins of Roman Tarragona classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The Forum, the walls, the circus and the amphitheatre are the most important venues. However, there are shows which take place just outside of Tarragona, in Constantí and Altafulla, two towns near to the city.

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  • Tarragona's Roman amphitheatre, where some of the recreations take place (by N. Torres)

  • Tarragona's Roman amphitheatre, where some of the recreations take place (by N. Torres)