Matt's excursions with his study abroad class
Matt did two daylong trips with his class.
In the first, he traveled
south of Barcelona to Tarragona, about an hour south of the city.
Tarragona was the capital of the region under the Romans, and has many Roman ruins.
It was also a sizeable town in the Middle Ages, and has several medieval monuments.
Above are models of Tarragona as it appeared in the Roman era, left, and in the Middle Ages, right.
Tarragona's walls show ancient, medieval, and modern layers as they were repaired over the centuries.
There are many attractive old buildings in the city.
Tarragona's cathedral was built in the twelfth century over the site of a Roman temple and a Muslim mosque.
The ruins of Tarragona's circus, above, beneath which are extensive tunnels, below.
Below left: a Roman building remodeled in the Middle Ages and called the House of Pilate.
Below: the ruins of the Roman amphitheater.
Not far from Tarragona is the medieval monastery of Santes Creus (Holy Cross).
The monastery has a
beautiful Gothic cloister and a huge vaulted dormitory.
Queen Blanca or Blanche of Aragon (died in 1310) is buried in the church.
On the second day trip Matt visited the city of Girona, about an hour north of Barcelona.
It is a charming city with a well preserved medieval quarter--used for the last season of the TV series "Game of Thrones."
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