The National Archaeological Museum is the ideal starting point for an exploration in to ancient Tarraco.
There is a easy to follow audiovisual display shown in the basement of the building which will tell you of Tarraco as seen through the eyes of the emperor Augustus when he came to visit the city. At the height of its splendor it would have been seen afar from the sea from incoming boats as it was built almost in terrace fashion over a rocky hill overlooking the sea. It sported one of the largest circuses ever excavated, a theater, an anphiteatre and a forum and would be bustling with life, trade and entertainment.
The museum has a comprehensive collection of artifacts including some splendid mosaics which used to adorn the pavement of Roman villas, fashionable statues of emperors, gods and goddesses which would have been set in public places and gardens, utensils like needles crafted of ivory, fragile object like glass urns, gold jewellery, coins and weights used by traders.
A testament of when “…during 26 and 25 BC that Tarraco attained its maximum importance as a city, when it became the de facto capital of the Roman world. This was when the emperor Augustus took up residence and from here directed his military campaigns against the tribes of Cantabria and Asturias.”*
*For more information visit www.museutgn.com/historia.asp