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The festivity’s climax is the entrance of the Braç de Santa Tecla (the patron saint of the city) into the Cathedral, which becomes an amazing and unique spectacle.
© Montse Riera

The Santa Tecla festival

The streets of Tarragona are filled with cultural events at this annual festival.

For ten days each September, Tarragona transforms into a huge celebration to honour the city’s patron saint, Santa Tecla. The festivities from 14 to 24 September are open to locals and visitors and offer something for everyone.

When it comes to the traditional activities, you can try the local cake of the so-called Braç de Santa Tecla (which literally means ‘Santa Tecla’s arm’, which is a relic still preserved in the city). Or you could watch a staging of the Retaule de Santa Tecla by Esbart Dansaire, or follow the solemn and traditional procession of Braç de Santa Tecla.

There’s lots of food to eat, including a famous local specialty called ‘espineta amb cargols’, which means ‘tuna back with snails’. And there are plenty of concerts and parades through the festival days. Of course, you’ll also be able to see performances of the incredible human towers of Catalonia, called ‘castells’.

The climax of the festival comes on 23 September when the Braç de Santa Tecla enters into the cathedral during an amazing spectacle. The church itself is one of the city’s highlights for visitors but it takes on a whole new role as a stage for this important event.


The Santa Tecla festival