Tortosa is located close to the mouth of the Ebro River in the Catalonia region of Spain. The city is bordered on its northern side by the mountains of the Cardo Massif which shelters the town. These mountain ranges are often covered with snow throughout the winter months. The city of Tortosa has an extensive history and because of such has significant examples of a range of architecture from Medieval to Modernist styles. Many of the city’s structures have been declared Historic-Artistic Heritage sites as well as National Monuments.
The oldest part of town is located near the river. Here you will find a 14th century Gothic cathedral. The Cathedral has a Baroque façade, and inside you will find three beautiful naves as well as a cloister. The interior of the building is vibrant with color from stunning altar pieces that were created in the 14th and 15th centuries. Also within the confines of the old part of town is the Episcopal Palace. It was also built in the 14th century and still features its courtyard. Inside you will find a stunning gallery and staircase with a chapel that was built in 1316. To see one of the most beloved National Monuments of the city, you will have to go to the edge of the city proper. Here you will find the Arab castle of La Suda. It sits perched on a hill overlooking the city. It is one of the first things you will see as you approach the city. The former castle has been renovated into a hotel, and is the perfect spot for your lodgings when you visit the city. The castle has a long history, and was once the residency of the Count of Barcelona has well as the Knights Templar.
For those that are looking to experience a bit of local culture and tradition, make sure you travel here during the latter part of July. This is when the city is transformed into a traditional 16th century town for two weeks. The residents of the city take pride in this recreation of the Renaissance. There are more than 3,000 people that take place in the festival with period costumes. Even shopkeepers are dressed in their period appropriate finery. Local restaurants serve dishes from the era, and there are performances by artists and actors throughout the city that encourage everyone to join in with the festivities. The festival also includes showing the traditions, trades of the time period, as well as the day to day customs of the Renaissance era.
Another must see sight are the Prince’s Gardens which is a beautiful botanic area filled with interesting plants and sculptures. Opened by the Prince of Asturias and Gerona in 1991, the Prince’s Gardens are a unique garden and outdoor sculpture museum surrounded by the beauty of Mount Suda and the St. Johns Foothills.
For those who enjoy a walk through time, the Fortifications Route is a must see attraction/tour. Walk the walls and fortifications including Suda Castle, the Prince’s Gardens, the Avanzadas de San Juan and the Celio Tower. An amazing way to discover the history and the culture of the region, the route can be explored on foot or by bicycle.
A historic and beautiful site, Tortosa offers unique and stunning areas of interesting anytime of the year.
Bill Bailey Travel invites you to explore this and other unique and exciting destinations for travel with us. Be prepared and know where to go before you travel.