Tortosa, city of the renaissance located in the heart of the biosphere reserve
Places of interest
La Suda Castle: One of the most important historical monuments in Tortosa, the castle buildings have been converted into a hotel but still contain remains of the original constructions dating back to Roman and Muslim periods. Defensive walls around the old town were built in the fourteenth century with five bastions or forts added in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the remains of which can also be visited: the Bonet, Victòria, Carme, Orleans, and Tenasses forts.
Tortosa Cathedral and other religious buildings: The majestic Santa Maria Cathedral of Tortosa was erected between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries. It has a double ambulatory, with a basilica design of three naves. Interesting buildings and structures around the cathedral include: the cloister, refectory, a large meeting hall, and the old buildings of the Canonja bakery (now converted into a restaurant), The thirteenth-century Santa Clara Convent, one of the first of the religious Order of Saint Clare, the seventeenth-century Purissima Convent, eighteenth-century Sant Joan Convent, and fourteenth-century Bishop’s Palace are other noteworthy religious buildings.
Manor houses and important trade buildings: The importance of commerce and trade in Tortosa’s history can be seen in historic buildings like the La Llotja (old market building), which dates back to the fourteenth century, and the fifteenth-century manor houses belonging to wealthy families such as the Oliver de Boteller, Despuig, and Oriol households as well as the more modern Montagut and Capmany houses.
Renaissance buildings: Considered to be the best examples of Renaissance architecture in Catalonia, the three sixteenth-century buildings which make up the Reials Col·legis (Royal Colleges) are well worth a visit.
Catalan Modernisme: Tortosa has many examples of the architectural movement known as Catalan Modernisme (Art Nouveau) and other similar styles, including the old abattoir (now home to Tortosa Museum), and Tortosa Market, designed by top Catalan architects, Pau Monguió and Joan Torras i Guardiola respectively. Other buildings notable for their architectural style include the Roser Church, the Reparació Church, the Clinica Sabate (previously a health clinic), and the Bau, Matheu, Grego, Ballester, Brunet, and Pinyana family houses among others.
Jewish Quarter: Most of the old town of Tortosa with its medieval streets which were home to a thriving Jewish community was declared an Important Historical-Artistic site in 1976.
Nearby sites: Places to visit on the outskirts of Tortosa include the Mig Camí chapel (seventeenth century), Coll de l’Alba chapel (fifteenth century), and the old Fullola defensive tower built in the thirteenth century.
River Ebro: The River Ebro flows through town and offers the chance to see river wildlife, characteristic riverside woodlands and beaches (such as the Xiquina area), and watch or enjoy different sports related to the river. There is a boat landing in the centre of town too.
Teodor Gonzalez town park: The main park in town has a rich variety of flora with a spectacular range of local plant species and more exotic additions such as cedar trees from Lebanon, Syria and eastern Turkey, magnolia trees from northern America, or thuja conifers and other trees from Japan, Korea and the region of Manchuria. The medieval market building, La Llotja, can also be found in the park. Now called La Casa dels Gegants, it is currently home to a variety of traditional figures (including the gegants, town giants) used in local festivals, parades and other events.