The Gaia is one of the rivers that cross the province of Tarragona. What makes it special is that along its course through the Alt Camp, Conca de Barbera and perpendicualr Tarragonés-way to the shore, is the largest concentration of medieval castles throughout Catalonia.
On this route we suggest visiting some of the most significant fortifications riu environment Gaia, so that you know how your story i have survived the passage of time.
Also, on the itinerary we have included a visit to some of the originally born populations around these medieval buildings, as Altafulla, ara Altafulla, Tamarit, The CATLLAR, Montferri i Aiguamúrcia i that are alive from the past history of our country.
A tour of the castles of the river Gaia
The Gaia is one of the rivers running through the region of Tarragona, in particular comaras atravisea the Alt Camp, Conca de Barbera and Tarragonés.
In the Middle Ages, tenth and eleventh centuries, played a strategic role as it made a natural border between the County of Barcelona and Al-Andalus. For this reason, along its course, were building near fifty castles and some watchtowers to stop the Muslim invasion north.
Unfortunately, due to durasa living conditions of the Middle Ages, most of these fortifications were abandoned by their owners to the present. However, there are some who have maintained good condition and have been turned into recreational areas and can be visited.
Around these fortifications were born populations as Altafulla, Tamarit, Aiuguamurcia or Santa Perpetua de Gaia, villas in its streets and squares hide the living history of the past of our country and you can also visit.
This route Gaia river castles, and a journey around Tarragona, is primarily an itinerary that takes you to another era. We refer to the time of territorial struggles, of feudal lords and knights. Like them, and if you want, podreis visit some of the castles on horseback, though not dreamers are so you can also you can do it by car or bicycle.
We will offer a selection of castles and towers to discover along the course of the River des naturla birth, near the town of Santa Coloma de Queralt, in the region of Conca de Barbera, past the monastery of Santes Creus and up Altafulla its mouth near a coastal town north of the city of Tarragona.
The starting point of the route of the castles would be in the town of Santa Coloma de Queralt, located north of the province of Tarragona, near where the river is born Gaia. This villa, which retains some of its medieval walls, is rooted in the existence Queralt Castle, located in the region of Anoia. The original castle of the tenth century was destroyed by Almanzor, but you can see the remains of the reconstructions that were made in later centuries.
Despite being a Renaissance work is worth it when paseis by Santa Coloma de Queralt, you visit the castle of the Counts of Queralt, as it retains the keep, the eleventh century. Now a space for cultural activities, among others, houses the municipal library.
If you continue down, you will find the ruins of the castle of Pontils, known as "Castellet". Then arrive to Santa Perpetua de Gaia, a population that is almost uninhabited currently retains a tower 15 meters high X century, situated in a stunning cliff views.
Nearby, in the direction of the coast, you can not miss a visit to the castles of Saburella i Selmella. The first building after the Reconquista (for that was built on the left bank of the river Gaia) is on a hill and is kept in good condition, especially two semicircular towers and part of the murallal. As Selmella Castle, retains some walls, part of the wall and the base of the tower. In 1988 it was declared a Cultural.
On the right bank of the river Gaia and once you have passed the town of Querol, Querol will find castles, Pinyana and Montagut. Some similarities and are considered the same time. Querol Castle in 1985 was declared a Site of National Interest. Pinyana Castle, who became property of the monastery of Santes Creus, only preserved part of the keep and the wall. As Montagut Castle, only some remains.
In this same margin of Gaia, and if you continue the course of the river to the sea, you will come to Santes Creus, where you can visit its Cistercian monastery, founded in 1160. Later will come to Aiguamurcia, a small town that has its origin, once again, in Selma Castle edificació and Albà.
Selma Castle, originally the tenth century, went through several owners until it was finally abandoned in 1930. Currently, retains only an outline walled church of San Cristobal. Albà Castle was owned by the bishopric and only kept a tower and some ruins.
In Rodonyà, a small town of five hundred inhabitants, you can visit the castle, which are preserved defense walls. Currently it is owned by the municipality i is currently under restoration.
South of the town of Montferri, I find Rocamora Castle, which now has been converted into a restaurant. Not far away is the Tower of Montferri, the end of the eleventh century. His condition can be uploading walk, what I pertimirá enjoy stunning views. If time permits, you can see the sea.
After enjoying these views, will get to the castell of The CATLLAR, located in the town of the same name, which was inhabited until the late eighteenth century. That has allowed them to keep in better shape than others and that podais visit two towers of 14 meters high united by a wall, and some rooms which will arrive after crossing the bridge exceeds the old moat.
Eventually you will come to the last two destinations on this route, Tamarit Castle and Castle Altafulla. Tamarit Castle, the twelfth century, is Romanesque and was built at the mouth of the river Gaia, possibly to prevent attacks from hackers. It is in very good condition, as well as his church and keep, located outside the enclosure. This has been possible thanks to several recent renovations made by their owners. Currently it is Breten Society, which has allocated the castle weddings.
As Altafulla Castle, this really is a castle-palace of the millennium that maintains a very good condition, although we must say that not the original, but a version of the seventeenth century. It is located in the historic center of the coastal town of the same name, which also has preserved in its streets and medieval palzas the true spirit. So much so that all Altafulla has been declared a Historic-Artistic.
If your starting point is Barcelona, ??the best option is to drive to Santa Coloma de Queralt and start the route from there. must take the A-2 towards Igualada and follow the diversion of the C-241. From here, you can follow the T-201 to Pontils, the C-37 to Santes Creus and the T-202 to reach Tamarit and Altafulla.
If you'd rather start from the coast inland, podeís take the AP-7 direction Tarragona and just before reaching the capital of província, find the exit to Torredembarra and Altafulla.