Do you know his story?
The first written documents about the region date back to 1153. It was Berenguer IV who ceded part of the territory to the Templars. At the beginning many municipalities depended on this military order. However, with the fall of the Templars they passed into the hands of the order of the Hospital.
Throughout its history the Highlands have been shaken by numerous wars. Much of its territory was occupied during the War of the Reapers and the War of Succession. He also witnessed one of the bloodiest episodes of the Spanish Civil War, specifically the Battle of the Ebro.
Currently, the region stands out for its dryland crops such as almond trees, olive trees and vineyards. The oil and wine industries also carry a lot of weight. It even has its own DO.
What do the Holiday cottages of Terra Alta offer you?
The historical heritage of Terra Alta is very extensive. Throughout its territory you will be able to see numerous vestiges of its medieval past. We also wanted to keep alive the memory of the events that happened in the Battle of the Ebro, as demonstrated by the numerous interpretive routes that you will find in various municipalities.
Gastronomy and wine culture are other attractions you will find in Terra Alta. The wine and oil routes offered by the various agricultural cooperatives will allow you to taste oils and wines of an exceptional taste. Don't miss the opportunity to do one of its hiking routes, such as the Via Verda.
Culture is also deeply rooted in the region. If you are passionate about art, you can visit the Centre Picasso . A Renaissance building where you can see some of the author's works as well as unknown aspects of his life.
10 ideas to enjoy Terra Alta
- Visit Gandesa
- Centre d'interpretació de la Batalla de l'Ebre.
- Discover its medieval legacy.
- Monestir de Sant Salvador d'Horta.
- Fontcalda, an outdoor paradise.
- Hiking routes.
- Centre Picasso.
- Enjoy its traditions.
- Wine route.
- Taste its gastronomy.
Gandesa is the capital of Terra Alta and is located very close to Cim Cavaller, one of the highest mountains in the region. Remains of Iberian settlements have been found at the Coll del Moro site, which proves human presence since 880 BC. Its Agricultural Cooperative is the work of Cèsar Martinell and has a modernist style. The Palau del Castellà is a Templar building that is still preserved in good condition. You must also visit the església de la Mare de Déu de l'Assumpció, in Romanesque style.
Centre d'Interpretació de la Batalla de l'Ebre
The Battle of the Ebre was one of the bloodiest confrontations of the Spanish Civil War. With the aim of making known how these events were experienced bot
h by the population and by the soldiers, the Center for Interpretation of the Battle of the Ebre was founded.
Along different municipalities of Terra Alta such as Corbera d'Ebre, Vilalba dels arcs, Batea or Fatarella
, guided routes are organized that seek to recover historical memory. In the center's facilities you can see audiovisual montages and virtual recreations of the battle.
Discover its medieval legacy
The medieval past of Terra Alta is clearly visible in several of its municipalities. In Horta De Sant Joan
Its streets are narrow and surrounded what used to be the old castle. In its historic center you can see Gothic buildings such as the parish church of Sant Joan Baptista. You also have Renaissance buildings such as Casa del Delme or Casa Clúa.
In the municipality of Arnes , the town hall stands out, which is in Renaissance style and dates from 1584
.The església de Santa Magdalena has a Gothic style and was built on the ruins of an old church. In addition, from Plaça de la Vila you can see magnificent views of the Parc Naturals dels Ports.
Monestir de Sant Salvador d'Horta
Located near Horta de Sant Joan and at the foot of the Santa Bárbara mountain, this monastery was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1985 . Its architecture includes buildings that go from the 12th to the 17th century and are arranged around a Renaissance cloister.
The church was built under Templar rule during the 13th century. The convent was inhabited by Franciscan monks and in the 16th century Friar Salvador lived. A monk who was revered for his miracles and who is known as Saint Salvador d'Horta. Currently, the two baroque altars have been restored. Exhibitions open to the public are also held in its premises throughout the year.
Fontcalda, an outdoor paradise
Located near Gandesa, Fontcalda offers hikers a source of thermal water. In the past, it was a spa and a place of pilgrimage, due to the fact that its waters were thought to have medicinal and healing properties. As of now, the Santuari de la Mare de Déu de la Fontcalda remains, dating from the 18th century. One of the advantages of La Fontcalda is that you have numerous natural pools in which you can swim. In addition, around the pools you will find a beautiful landscape and numerous paths that allow you to go on excursions.
If you want to enjoy nature, in Terra Alta you have a network of hiking routes that you can do on foot or by bike. One of the best known is Via Verda
. This is an old railway section that crosses several counties and will allow you to see wooded landscapes and rural environments. The Terra Alta route connects the stations of Arnes and Pinell de Brai.
Other routes you can take are the Peace route that goes into some of the most prominent places of the Battle of the Ebro. In the Parc Naturals Dels Ports, you will also find numerous paths and routes
of different levels of difficulty that suit all tastes.
If you like art, there is the Picasso Center
in Horta de Sant Joan. It is a Renaissance building that houses a reproduction of all the works that Picasso did in Horta de Sant Joan. On the ground floor of the museum you will find photographs and personal objects of the painter. On the second floor are the reproductions of the works he did during his first stay in the town. On the third floor you can see his cubist work and evocations made in Barcelona
and Paris during 1909.
Enjoy its traditions
Terra Alta celebrates numerous festivals throughout the year. One of the best known is the Iberian Week in Gandesa . Numerous activities are held for the whole family in order to spread the culture and trade of the ancient Iberian towns. There are also guided tours of the fortified town and the necropolis.
Another very popular party is the Festa de l'Aiguardent de Prat del Comte , where various organizations and fairs offer tastings of different brandies accompanied by typical sweets of the region. The Bot Oil Fair organizes numerous tastings, popular meals and competitions where oil is precisely the main protagonist.
The vine is very present in Terra Alta. One of its characteristic features is the use of the Garnacha variety. One of the keys to the success of its DO is the combination of the most modern methodology with the most ancestral techniques . There are many cooperatives that offer wine tastings in their facilities. Some of the best known are the Gandesa and Pinell de Brai wineries . They were designed by Cèsar Martinell and are clear examples of the modernist agricultural architecture you can find in Catalunya.
Taste its gastronomy
Terra Alta has a gastronomy that combines traditional cuisine with the most modern cuisine. Many of its ingredients are local, which gives its dishes an authentic flavor. Game meats such as partridge, pheasant, wild boar or hare are very popular in the municipalities that are further south in the region. There are also many dishes with freshwater fish.
The raw sausage made in Fatarella is highly valued along with the sausages from Batea. The confectionery is also very relevant, as you can see if you taste the fine cake or the cake with honey. A good accompaniment to the typical dishes of Terra Alta are its DO wines.