Just southwest of Barcelona on the Mediterranean Sea is the port city of Tarragona in the Catalonia region of Spain. The city is home to many ancient Roman ruins, including the Acropolis of Tarragona, which is a recognized Unesco World Heritage site.
With sweeping views from its location in the upper part of the city of Tarragona, El Seminari de Tarragona was designed by architect August Font i Carreras. The Neo-Gothic chapel is centered between two cloisters. In one of them, you’ll find the Chapel of Sant Pau, which was built in the early 13th century in the transition from Romanesque to Gothic architecture, clearly recognized with its arches and side windows.
We took a moment with talented local photographer Pierre Grubius, to hear about his experience capturing this expansive space that’s steeped in history.
Q: What inspired the 3D capture of El Seminari Center in Tarragona?
I’m passionate about Tarragona and its history. Tarragona has great heritage (mostly Roman), which in 2000 was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. There are several buildings in my city that I’d love to scan to be able to create virtual tours. I was lucky enough to do it for the building that was my school when I was young, the Pontifical Seminary of Tarragona, built in 1883, and that in its interior has a chapel from the 13th century, built where it is believed that Saint Paul the Apostle preached while in Tarraco.
2007 marked the beginning of the works for the modernization of the building; the passing of years had deteriorated it. What I show in my work is a building with a great history that has been modernized to fit into these new times while maintaining its essence intact.
The building has multiple rooms for teaching and conferences, an events hall, two spectacular libraries with more than 100,000 books – many of them incunable and of great value. The building is more than 7,000 square meters, divided in two cloisters and a central nave that holds the Main Chapel. The Seminary is a building that is not well-known (even for residents of Tarragona), so I wanted to open its doors for everybody to walk inside and admire its beauty.
Q: What are the main areas visitors cannot miss when exploring the space and why?
The Seminary has many areas that I think one cannot miss.
First, its old library. Although remodeled with all the modern security systems, it maintains its historic essence. I believe it is a space that transports us back in time and can be a bit overwhelming due to the immense knowledge around us. It has many priceless volumes.
The Chapel of Saint Paul from the 13th century was built where tradition says Saint Paul the Apostle preached while in Tarraco. It is located in a cloister protected by a glass ceiling so the weather does not affect it.
In the events hall located on the first floor, there is a very detailed wood ceiling and fantastic colored glass curtains that I think are a must.
Finally, both the Santa Tecla classroom (on the first floor) and the Wall space (on the second floor) have a view of the well-preserved Roman wall that surrounded Tarraco.
Q: What would you like visitors to take home after exploring El Seminari Center?
I’d love for visitors to have a fantastic experience walking inside such a special and historic place, contemplating every detail of this magnificent building.
Q: What are the advantages of a 3D tour of the space compared to an in-person visit?
Everybody can come and visit the building, even spaces and rooms that are not usually open to the public: the old library, the Degrees room and the conference rooms.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
Although I usually capture apartments and houses for real estate agencies with the Matterport Pro2 camera, I believe that with this excellent tool, we can bring the world together - from every corner of the world - into spaces that are unknown, beautiful and have great historical importance.
To learn more about the Centre Tarraconense “El Seminari,” check out Pierre’s photography work, and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.