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Montblanc

Desembre 17, 2008

MONTBLANC

(CAPITAL DE LA CONCA DE BARBERÀ) 

 

Montblanc is the capital of the Catalan comarca Conca de Barberà. The medieval walled City of Montblanc is situated in the interior of the province of Tarragona. It is the commercial & cultural centre of the district and is visited by tourists who come to see the medieval Wall, The Cathedral, and the medieval architecture belonging to many of the City’s buildings. The area around Montblanc has been inhabited for thousands of years. Evidence of cave dwellings have been found dating back to Palaeolithic times. Evidence of Roman artifacts have been found which date from between the 2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD. The Islamic invasion initiated a long period of very successful agricultural and commercial development. This was responsible for the birth of many towns and villages in the region which still retain their Islamic names. The 10th and 11th centuries seem to have been a period of relatively peaceful coexistence in which Muslims, Christians and Jews lived in the region of Montblanc. This productive period continued until an allegiance of forces, strongly supported by the Roman catholic church, initiated an era of violent & destructive expulsion (1492 ~ 1614, which forced the Moors, the Jews and many of the interbred mixed race peoples to leave the Iberian peninsular. After the expulsion, the region was dominated by the Roman Catholic Church during which time the nearby Monastery at Poblet was rebuilt and expanded. The traditional local medieval fiestas & pageantry, that are still regularly performed in Montblanc, confirm the probable use of Montblanc by the Knights Templar. Such towns offered the Knights a place to stay during their passage across Spain.

 

Montblanc está en el sur de la comarca, al centro de la depresión formada por los ríos Anguera y Francolí. Está situada a los pies del pequeño monte conocido como Pla de Santa Bárbara, cerca de la unión de los ríos Francolí y Anguera. El casco antiguo de la villa está a unos 350m sobre el nivel del mar, pero el punto más alto del término municipal es la Mola d’Estat (1.126m). A principios del siglo XI se fundó un pueblo conocido como Duesaigües donde los ríos Anguera y Francolí se juntaban. Para favorecer la repoblación de la Cataluña Nueva, el conde Ramón Berenguer IV otorgó licencias libres de impuestos. Entonces, en 1155, la población se rebautizó como Vilasalva (villa salvada -villa libre de impuestos-). Las continuas inundaciones y la necesidad de poseer una fortificación en el camino de Lérida a Tarragona, hicieron decidir al rey Alfonso I trasladar la población a un pequeño monte cerca de allí y otorgó la nueva carta de población a Pere Berenguer de Vilafranca. Así nació Montblanc, era el febrero de 1163.

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