Montblanc, what to see in the visit of the historic walled town in Tarragona

Medieval wall of Montblanc in Tarragona

It is true that the main attraction of the Cistercian Route they are the three Cistercian monasteries that make it up, that of Poblet, Santes Creus Y Vallbona de les Monges.

But a route through this area of Catalonia, and specifically for the province of Tarragona, also offers other corners that should be noted as is the medieval walled village of Montblanc.

If you have decided to do the Cistercian Route, the town of Montblanc you will find it just 10 kilometers from the aforementioned Poblet monastery, so it is a clear invitation to visit it.

Medieval wall of Montblanc in Tarragona

But, what justifies visiting Montblanc?

I am talking about a historic town whose origins date back to the year 1080 and that, at present, conserves the largest walled enclosure in Catalonia.

History of Montblanc in Tarragona

Located in the region of the Barberá Basin, this area of interior of Tarragona it was a territory of borders, and in the distribution of it between the nobles and the king, the latter remained with the enclave that now occupies Montblanc.

To facilitate its repopulation, the king granted licenses that in practice assumed that its inhabitants were tax free, which led to it being named Vilasalva (saved village).

Door of the medieval wall of Montblanc in Tarragona

At first it was a village that was protected by the placement of their houses forming a walled enclosure, and also a strategic point to be located halfway between Tarragona and Lleida.

He Montblanc town it grows around a hill where there was a castle of which at present there are hardly any remains.

It was at the end of the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries when its greatest development occurred, at which time its big Wall and most of the main civil and religious buildings, but subsequently suffered a major epidemic that caused its decline.

Montblanc It had a commercial boom in the eighteenth century thanks to the production of vines, but a century later it was affected by the arrival of the phylloxera.

Behind the Civil war Montblanc It became an industrial town, and currently has about 7,000 inhabitants.

Corner of the historic center of Montblanc in Tarragona

What to see in the visit of Montblanc

your visit of Montblanc will have as its main protagonist its walls.

In fact, the Guided visits that offers the town hall, and to which you can join, have as a central point the walk through the walls and on the climb to one of its towers.

San Francisco convent

But the first corner you should see is precisely outside the walls, and it is the old one San Francisco convent, saint of whom tradition says he went through Montblanc back in the year 1211.

It is a 1230 building, in Gothic style but without cruises, with arches and wooden roof, which in its time was polychrome, and a very austere facade.

Old Franciscan convent in Montblanc in Tarragona

The convent was abandoned after the Confiscation of Mendizábal, in 1836, and subsequently had several uses, including a factory.

Now it is a multipurpose room used by the town hall as a fairground and for events.

From the great esplanade that opens in front of the old Franciscan convent You have one of the best views of the wall, as much of it throughout the town is covered by adjoining houses.

Wall and towers of Montblanc

The Montblanc wall It was built between 1366 and 1397, during the so-called Pedros War.

With a length of about 1,700 meters and an average height of 6 meters, 25 defensive towers are currently available on the wall, although it is estimated that there were more than 30 towers.

Calle Mayor de Montblanc in Tarragona

The four original portals are also preserved, two of which are open gates in towers, such as the one of San Jordi. T

In the Montblanc wall there is also a fifth door that was opened later, and in its time inside the fortification orchards and a hospital.

This fortification and its towers began to be recovered during the last century, and now you find a wall in excellent condition, and several towers enabled to climb to the top of them.

During your visit you can cross through these portals and climb to the wall to make the round trip, from where you have some nice panoramic views of the town of Montblanc and its surroundings.

Montblanc Main Street

Already inside the town, during your walk through the main Street, ancient real street, you will meet the church of San Miguel, of gothic structure and Romanesque cover, similar to the aforementioned Franciscan convent.

Church of Santa María de Montblanc in Tarragona

Church of Santa María de Montblanc

But the main church of the town is known as Santa Maria de Montblanc,

In the year 1163 a first Romanesque church was built located a high area of ​​the town, but it was in 1310 when it was decided to lift the building from what was to be a great Gothic cathedral.

Various events led to it not being completed, so that in the fifteenth century the works were completed without the construction of the main facade and the bell tower.

Therefore, now when you go to visit it, you will go up a staircase to the square where a Renaissance-style side door opens, and by its current interior configuration you will find that it was unfinished.

Church of Santa María de Montblanc in Tarragona

Finally I want to point out that a good reason to visit Montblanc is to attend your Medieval Week held every year in the two weeks near July 23, the day of Saint George, whose legend is linked to the history of this medieval population.

How to get to Montblanc in Tarragona

He walled town of Montblanc It is located inside the province of Tarragona, to the north half an hour from the capital, and it is also easily reached from Barcelona, ​​from where it is just over an hour.

Video: The Walled Town of Montblanc, Catalonia Arkeo Channel (November 2019).