THREE CASTLES TO DISCOVER THE HERITAGE OF THE CONCA DE BARBERÀ REGION
The counts of Barcelona and Urgell established one of the most important strengths of the Marca Hispánica- the buffer zone beyond the former province of Septimania, created by Charlemagne
in 795 as a defensive as a defensive barrier between the Umayyad Moors of Al-Andalus and the Frankish Carolingian Empire in the current center of Barberà de la Conca. It was the in the 11th century. In the last decades of the 20th century it had survived among ruins, until in the nineties the group " Amics del Castell " launched a a campaign to restore it. The poet José Agustín Goytisolo, neighbor of the town, collaborated very especially.
At present in Barberà Castle- which was part of the order of the Templars - there are two buildings that can be visited, the old chapel and the tower. And usually there are concerts, conferences, exhibitions, wine tastings, cinema... It is an excellent excuse to visit this town often hidden from the tourist routes through Tarragona and the Costa Daurada (Golden Coast). Located on a hill of 450 meters, it offers great views of the region. The agricultural cooperative has the honor of being the heir of the first cooperative winery founded in Catalonia in 1894. You can buy tasty white, red and rosé wines of the Conca de Barberà Denomination of Origin (D.O.). In the leisure area La Marinada, on the outskirts of the village, you can eat with your family and let the children play football or basketball in the fields with free access available.
CONESA, THE MEDIEVAL VILLAGE OF THE WINDMILLS
“Conesa, la belleza” (Conesa, the beauty) say the people of the Conca de Barberà. This village, which has only 100 inhabitants, has almost one windmill per inhabitant. The wind blows so hard on winter nights that some say they have "a frozen brain." That's why autumn, before the cold really arrives, is one of the best times to stroll.
The centre of Conesa conserves parts of the wall of medieval times in an admirable good state. The cobbled streets of the Jewish quarter also bring you back to the past and are an excellent labyrinth for the children to get lost running around.
Do not forget to take a look at Conesa Castle, a noble mannor house of the municipality declared asset of national interest, known since 1123. Later it was property of the monastery of Santes Creus and, in the building that still is preserved, the monks established their residence. Behind the building, they had the orchard, where even today there is a neighbor who plants fruits and vegetables.
With a bit of luck, if you establish contact with with the Mayor, he will open the doors of the building and also the Gothic church, dating from the 14th century. If not, surely you will enjoy a chat with the inhabotants of Conesa in front of the wedged portal of Santa Maria, its daily meeting point.
MUSICAL WALK THROUGH SANTA COLOMA DE QUERALT
This TripIdea along the Costa Daurada (Golden Coast) can be completed with a visit to Santa Coloma de Queralt. During the Middle Ages the villa was considered one of the most beautiful for its architectural heritage.
Today the Castle of the Counts, which was the main residence of the barons of Queralt, is a starting point for the visit. The square in front of the castle usually becomes an improvised runway for the smaller cyclists. And also the Plaza Mayor – the Main Square - where on top of the beautiful arcades stand out wrought-iron balconies.
TROUBADOURS FOR BOYS AND GIRLS
In the Tourist Office of Santa Coloma they organize guided school visits with a very special musical experience. An authentic troubadour of the Middle Ages offers a repertoire of medieval songs for children. The stones of this town have heard singing in Latin, Occitan, Sephardic and ancient Castilian. Are you aiming to intonate songs with him?
Now, if you want to live Santa Coloma with a 2.0 experience, download the successful Geocaching app on your mobile phone or tablet. You have to pay for it. There are several treasures hidden by the municipality! Look for them and enjoy a different visit to the village. When you find them, sign in the guestbook, and share it on the social networks. Let the game not stop!
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