Travel Guide

Essential things to see and do in Tortosa, Tarragona

Tortosa is a nice little town in Tarragona. And despite the fact that at first glance it may seem that it does not have many interesting places to visit, it is a nice stop if you are thinking of making a trip to Tarragona or if you want to make a weekend getaway.

Essential things to see and do in Tortosa, Tarragona

Tortosa is a nice little town in Tarragona. And despite the fact that at first glance it may seem that it does not have many interesting places to visit, it is a nice stop if you are thinking of making a trip to Tarragona or if you want to make a weekend getaway.

2. Cross the bridges of the Ebro River

The city of Tortosa has two main bridges, the old railway bridge and the State bridge. They are a perfect place to take pictures and from where you will have magnificent views of the river and part of the city.

One of the best ways to discover the charm of the river is sailing on the Lo Sirgador lute. Its pier is located next to the Municipal Market . This type of boat recreates the old lutes and offers a first class tourist service. It maintains a regular route to enjoy the fluvial and historical façade of the city and the riverside forest of the island of Xiquina.

2. Cross the bridges of the Ebro River

The city of Tortosa has two main bridges, the old railway bridge and the State bridge. They are a perfect place to take pictures and from where you will have magnificent views of the river and part of the city.

One of the best ways to discover the charm of the river is sailing on the Lo Sirgador lute. Its pier is located next to the Municipal Market . This type of boat recreates the old lutes and offers a first class tourist service. It maintains a regular route to enjoy the fluvial and historical façade of the city and the riverside forest of the island of Xiquina.

3. Visit The Royal Colleges

The  Royal Colleges  are located within the Historic-Artistic Complex of Tortosa and are the most important Renaissance monument in Catalonia.

In the 16th century, Tortosa was the fifth city with the most inhabitants in Catalonia and had a college for the training of theologians of the Dominican Order.

This architectural complex is made up of three buildings: the  College of San Jaime and San Matías (currently the seat of the Baix Ebre Regional Archive), the  College of San Jorge and Santo Domingo  (which today houses the Official School of Languages ) and the church of Santo Domingo (currently converted into a Renaissance Interpretation Center).

6. Zuda Castle

The castle occupies the central hill of the ancient city. The fortification rises above all the historic buildings in the city. It is the perfect place to enjoy spectacular views of the city.

Iberian and Roman remains have been found. In the times of  Abd-al-Rahman III  , the Arabs converted it into a citadel. From those of  Jaime I it  was  a royal residence .

It seems that originally it alternated square defensive towers with pieces of wall. The passing of the centuries forced adaptations to be made in accordance with the new military requirements, replacing battlements and towers with embrasures and parapets. In the  17th and 18th centuries , the outposts  were built   at its northwest end.

In 1972, after a profound reform, the castle became a National Tourist Parador.

From the old fortification, walls, arcades, the powder magazine, the parade ground, underground galleries, cannons and a sauce with trigoliad windows are preserved.

7. The fortifications of Tortosa

In Tortosa you can not only visit the Zuda Castle, there are more fortifications in the city.

Tortosa is unique for its bastions, walls and fortifications .  It is possible to undertake a route through all of them to discover how important and powerful the defensive heritage of this city was.

14th century wall

The Vimpeçol portal was one of the main entrances to the city, since it connected it with the population centers on the left bank of the river and it was the exit to the Camino Real in the direction of Zaragoza.

Celio tower

You can go down to the neighborhood of Remolins. At present, it conserves its layout without variations and a good extension of the walkway. Most of the layout corresponds to wall canvas, with the exception of the fortified towers at both ends, at the foot of the ravine, the so-called Torre del Celio or Gran and, in the upper part, the remains of two square towers that have been integrated in the structure of the outposts of San Juan.

The portal of the Jews

Nor can you miss the portal of the Jews, where you can always breathe a lot of tranquility, as if time had never passed. The portal of the Jews or Ferre, a secondary entrance to the city that is located near the Jewish quarter of Remolins, in the middle of the wall that is still preserved.

It connected the neighborhood with the Jewish cemetery, located outside the walls. The portal was a secondary or alternative exit that.

The Fort of Bonet

The Fortín del Bonet was part of the second defensive enclosure of El Rastre. It is basically made up of a single bastion surrounded by a narrow moat. It is a defensive element of an individual nature, linked at the same time with the layout of urban fortifications through walls such as those of the Rastre from the 17th-18th centuries.

Outposts of San Juan

The outposts of San Juan is one of the essential places to visit in the city, and thus enjoy the fortifications.

The outposts began to be built in the second half of the 17th century and comprise two fortification bodies of the time and an earlier section. Access to the urban interior was through the first fortification body. This fortified block has a wide elongated moat ending in an arrowhead and, although it forms part of a more complex system, it could actually be totally independent.

The upper body is dominated by different forts and bastions, linked together. The second body of the fortification is made up of two half bastions with a polygonal floor plan joined by a wall lock. At the west end it is attached to the 14th century wall, separated from the 17th century complex by a narrow and deep moat.

8. Tortosa

The Jewish Quarter of Tortosa is one of the most charming places in the city. I recommend that you visit all the essential places, but that you also get lost wandering aimlessly and unhurriedly.

In the Jewish quarter you cannot miss:

The trilingual tombstone

This famous tombstone is written in three parallel translations; Greek, Hebrew and Latin.

In Calle d’en Forto is the Jewish butcher’s shop. Belonging to the Christian family of Sentmenat and sublet by the Jews, the butcher shop depended on the aljama or community government, which established the necessary mechanisms so that the meat consumed was purified or kosher.

The oven of the Jews

Another of the places you should visit in the Jewish quarter is the oven of the Jews. Already in the 17th century it was known as the “Forn del Senyo Rei”. It was a place where unleavened bread was made. The oven was an important source of income for the city.

The pottery

The traditional Arab pottery activity dates back to the Late Middle Ages and took place in the Remolins neighborhood during the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.

It was dedicated to the production of ceramic containers for agricultural and domestic use.

Synagogue or House of Sant Jordi

This building, popularly known as the Synagogue, is a building of medieval origin. Its construction dates from the fourteenth century to be a hospital.

Starting in the 18th century, it became a cavalry barracks and became known as the Prince’s or Remolins Barracks. At this point, we will find the base of the walls of the fourteenth century.

Another of the places to visit during your tour of the Jewish quarter is the Basement of the 14th-century walls, the portal of the Jews and the Torre del Celio. Places that I have already told you about in point 7, fortifications.

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