Tortosa

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For the city in Syria called Tortosa during the crusades, see Tartous.
Tortosa
Municipality
Tortosa (town view).jpg
Flag of Tortosa
Flag
Coat of arms of Tortosa
Coat of arms
Tortosa is located in Spain
Tortosa
Tortosa
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 40°48′46″N 0°31′24″E / 40.81278°N 0.52333°E / 40.81278; 0.52333
Country Spain
Community Catalonia
Province Tarragona
Comarca Baix Ebre
Government
 • Mayor Ferran Bel i Accensi
Area
 • Total 218.45 km2 (84.34 sq mi)
Elevation 12 m (39 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Total 34,473
 • Density 160/km2 (410/sq mi)
Demonym Tortosí, tortosina
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Ebre river in Tortosa

Tortosa (Catalan pronunciation: [turˈtozə], locally: [toɾˈtoza], Spanish pronunciation: [torˈtosa]. Latin: Dertusa or Dertosa, Arabic: طرطوشةṬurṭūšah) is the capital of the comarca of Baix Ebre, in Catalonia (Spain).

Tortosa is located at 12 metres above sea level, by the Ebre river, protected on its northern side by the mountains of the Cardó Massif, of which Buinaca, one of the highest peaks, is located within Tortosa's municipal term.

Before Tortosa, across the river, rise the massive Ports de Tortosa-Beseit mountains. The area around Mont Caro and other high summits are often covered with snow in the winter.

Population centres[edit]

The municipality includes a small exclave to the west.

History[edit]

Tortosa is probably identical to the ancient Hibera, capital of Ilercavonia. This may be the ancient settlement the remains of which have been found on the hill named Castillo de la Zuda. In Roman times, the town adopted the name Dertosa. After more than 400 years of Muslim rule, the city was conquered by the Count Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona in 1148, as part of the Second Crusade. Because of the crusading appeal made by Pope Eugene III and his representative Nicholas Brakespear (the future Pope Hadrian IV), the siege received the aid of crusaders from multiple nationalities (Genovese, Anglo-Normans, Normans, Southern-French, Germans, Flemish and Dutch), who were on their way to the Holy Land. The siege of Tortosa was narrated by the Genovese chronicler and diplomat Caffaro.

After its conquest, the city and its territory were divided among the victors, with multiple lands being granted to foreign crusaders and to the military and religious orders.[1]

Formerly there was a railway line between Tortosa and Alcañiz, opening a communication gate between this region and Aragon.[2] Construction work began in 1891, but it was haphazard and the first trains between Alcañiz and Tortosa began only in 1942. The last stretch between Tortosa and Sant Carles de la Ràpita was never completed before the line was terminated by RENFE in 1973.[3]

Main sights[edit]

  • Castle of Sant Joan, or Suda, commanding the city from a 59 m-high hill. Though the Romans were the first to fortify the place, the current structure dates to Muslim Caliph Abd ar-Rahman III. After the conquest by Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona, in 1148, it became a residence of the Montcada and the Knights Templar, and from the 13th century it became a royal mansion.
  • The Cathedral, begun in 1347 and consecrated in 1597.
  • Bishop Palace
  • Convent of Santa Clara, founded in 1283.
  • Montagut Palace
  • Despuig Palace (14th century)
  • Oliver de Boteller Palace (15th century)

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Tortosa is twinned with:

Demography[edit]

Historical population of Tortosa
Year 1991 1996 2001 2004
Population 29,452 30,088 28,933 31,979

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Tortosa 44m (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 14.6
(58.3)
16.4
(61.5)
19.5
(67.1)
21.5
(70.7)
24.9
(76.8)
29.4
(84.9)
32.2
(90)
32.3
(90.1)
28.8
(83.8)
24.0
(75.2)
18.4
(65.1)
14.9
(58.8)
23.1
(73.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) 10.1
(50.2)
11.2
(52.2)
13.8
(56.8)
15.8
(60.4)
19.2
(66.6)
23.4
(74.1)
26.3
(79.3)
26.5
(79.7)
23.2
(73.8)
18.8
(65.8)
13.9
(57)
10.6
(51.1)
17.7
(63.9)
Average low °C (°F) 5.6
(42.1)
6.0
(42.8)
8.1
(46.6)
10.1
(50.2)
13.4
(56.1)
17.5
(63.5)
20.3
(68.5)
20.6
(69.1)
17.5
(63.5)
13.6
(56.5)
9.3
(48.7)
6.3
(43.3)
12.4
(54.3)
Precipitation mm (inches) 33
(1.3)
28
(1.1)
30
(1.18)
48
(1.89)
58
(2.28)
25
(0.98)
15
(0.59)
33
(1.3)
59
(2.32)
78
(3.07)
60
(2.36)
41
(1.61)
508
(20)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 4 4 3 5 6 3 2 3 5 6 5 4 50
Mean monthly sunshine hours 163 167 211 230 257 292 329 283 225 192 162 155 2,662
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lucas Villegas-Aristizabal, "Anglo-Norman involvement in the conquest of Tortosa and Settlement of Tortosa, 1148-1180", Crusades 8 (2009), pp. 63-129.
  2. ^ Historia de la línea de La Puebla de Híjar-Alcañiz-Tortosa-Sant Carles de la Ràpita
  3. ^ El Punt - El cruel divorci entre Tortosa i el tren
  4. ^ "Jumelages et Relations Internationales - Avignon". Avignon.fr (in French). Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  5. ^ "Atlas français de la coopération décentralisée et des autres actions extérieures". Ministère des affaires étrangères (in French). Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  6. ^ "Guía resumida del clima en España (1981-2010)". Retrieved 2014-09-26. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Antoni Virgili, "Angli cum multis aliis alienigenis: crusade settlers in Tortosa (second half of the twelfth century)," Journal of Medieval History, 35,3 (2009), 297-312.

External links[edit]