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Monday, March 25, 2019

A Travel to Miravet Castle in Tarragona, Spain



Declared as a site of national interest and opened to the public in 1994, the Castle of Miravet is one of those secret places of Catalonia that are a must in an avid traveler's agenda, only 50 kms away from famous Costa Dorada!

As you can appreciate above, the castle was built on a bend of the Ebro river and dominates over a landscape of fertile lands where vineyards are predominant.



From the rock on which it stands one cannot avoid to recall those centuries of history behind the renown building and the villagers that enjoyed such remarkable views.










From Iberians to Muslims, from Templars to feudal lords, from Carlists to Bourbons, from Nationalists to Republicans, each of them had the chance to rejoice in the same landscape.

There were people here, according to the oldest remains found, since 2 BC, Iberians to be precise.  Later, came the Arabs or the Moors, as they were known in Al-Andalus, the name they gave to their dominions in Spain. By the 11th century, they had built this impressive defensive fortress which was expanded in coming decades in order to protect themselves from military incursions of groups organized by powerful Catalan counts. Bear in mind that, after many years of prosperity toiling these lands, the time came when only Miravet and Siurana remained as the last redoubts of the Moorish period.

It was Ramon Berenguer IV, one of those feudal lords, who took the castle from them and gave it to the Templar Knights. For almost two centuries they dominated the fortress which they improved  until 1307, year in which, the Spanish Inquisition, instigated by Philip the Handsome, King of France, starts persecuting Templars in France as a result of which James II of Catalonia and Aragon sets on doing the same in Miravet. After two months of resistance to the siege imposed by James, Templars are imprisoned and sent to trials by the Inquisition. The order of the Temple is dissolved and their assets confiscated and transferred to the order of Hospital de Sant Joan de Jerusalem also known as Hospitallers.

But if you want to know more about this Romanesque building and you are fond of Catalonia castle tours it is better that you visit this place and its idyllic enviroment.


Miravet Castle

Contact details

Carrer del Castell, s/n
+34 977 407 368
Miravet, Tarragona (Catalonia)

miravet.cultura@gencat.cat
http://m.mhcat.cat/castell_de_miravet

Location

Tarragona

Schedule
  • From Jun 01 to Sep 30
  • From 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • From Oct 01 to Dec 15
  • From 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
  • From Dec 16 to Feb 28
  • From 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • From Mar 01 to May 31
  • From 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Prices
  • General: €3,50
  • Reduced: €2,50
  • ICOM members and associations: Admission free

Monday, March 18, 2019

3 Secret and Underappreciated Spots in Barcelona


3 Underappreciated Spots in Barcelona


It’s no secret that Barcelona is straining under the weight of the explosion of tourists it has received over the last decade. Each year, more and more visitors head out to the Catalan capital, and the city is struggling to keep pace. Part of the issue is that everyone wants to see the same things, at the same time: the Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas, the Gothic Cathedral, the Picasso Museum. Every day, thousands of tourists all congregate in the same areas of the city, and overcrowding is a serious issue causing many problems.

However, it is still possible to visit Barcelona and be a part of the solution and not the problem. One way you can ease the burden on those over-visited sights is to take a guided tour of some of Barcelona’s lesser visited spots. Not only will this allow you to appreciate the city from another perspective, but you’ll also understand more of the history and culture that makes the city unique. Once you’re done with that, why not check out these other three underappreciated spots and expand your knowledge of this truly special place.

Palo Alto


Palo Alto looks a lot like any other dilapidated factory complex in the Poblenou district. However, behinds its industrial facade lies a vibrant and dynamic hub of innovation and creativity. Home to offices and coworking spaces, the inner courtyard is bursting with exotic plants and other greenery. Cafes and event spaces also help to give the atmosphere an electric buzz throughout the week.

On the first weekend of the month, The Palo Alto Market brings together an eclectic mix of food trucks, vintage stalls, and artisanal crafts alongside some great music and a generally laidback atmosphere. It’s the perfect time to visit these hidden gardens and get a taste for Barcelona’s entrepreneurial side.

Carmel Bunkers




If you’re looking for THE best views across Barcelona, then you need to head out to the Carmel Bunkers. Standing at a height of 262 meters, these Spanish Civil War era antiaircraft bunkers offer 360º views over the city, and plenty of interesting history to complement those spectacular landscapes. For instance, it’s interesting to note that, while the name would suggest otherwise, these concrete structures were never actually bunkers, and only provided foundations for the antiaircraft artillery over a short period of the civil war.

After the civil war, these concrete turrets fell into disrepair. However, with space at a premium in Barcelona, the area quickly grew into a shanty town that existed until the 1990s. Today, the area has been regenerated by the municipality, however, you can learn more about the colorful history of the Carmel Bunkers at the MUHBA exhibition onsite. Entry to the Bunkers is free and they’re open 24/7.

Antic Theatre




Another secret idyll in the heart of Barcelona, the Antic Theatre lies just a few meters from the Palau de la Música. Featuring a large open-air terrace, the courtyard is surrounded by typical Catalan architecture that creates a particularly intimate and authentic space to escape the sun for midday drinks. A favorite haunt of Barcelona’s hip young things, the Antic Theatre always has a healthy buzz echoing through the courtyard.

After you’ve enjoyed some great food and drinks, you’ll find that the theatre itself also hosts an eclectic selection of productions throughout the year, and the free-thinking spirit of its members maintain the themes of “independence, sustainability, and resistance” through workshops and other community-based programs. For theatre lovers, or anyone with a taste for something a little different, the Antic Theatre is a must-visit venue on our list of underappreciated spots in Barcelona.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Ebro River View From Miravet Castle, Tarragona, Catalonia

A view from the Castle of Miravet over a bend on river Ebro
Ebro river as seen from Miravet Castle



This is what you could see if you were visiting Castell de Miravet (Miravet Castle) in Tarragona. 

Catalonia is full of wonderful secret places awaiting for you to discover should you dare to go a little out of the usual tourist path. 

From a castle built on sheer rock by the Moors and later inhabited by the Templars, located on one of the banks of Ebro river, you may let your imagination wander and think of past times when it was necessary to protect your private paradise from invasions. Check for more pictures and information in the next post.
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