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 Catalonia
Tortosa
Tortosa
Location in Catalonia
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 Accensi (2015)[1]
Area[2]
 • Total 218.5 km2 (84.4 sq mi)
Elevation 12 m (39 ft)
Population (2015)[1]
 • Total 33,864
 • Density 150/km2 (400/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Tortosí, tortosina
Website tortosa.cat
Ebro river in Tortosa

Tortosa (Catalan: [tuɾˈtozə], locally: [toɾˈtoza]; Spanish: [toɾˈtosa]) is the capital of the comarca of Baix Ebre, in Catalonia, Spain.

Tortosa is located at 12 metres (39 feet) above sea level, by the Ebro 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 (from Latin: Dertusa or Dertosa, via Arabic: طرطوشة‎‎‎ Ṭurṭūšah) 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.[3]

Formerly there was a railway line between Tortosa and Alcañiz, opening a communication gate between this region and Aragon.[4] 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.[5]

Main sights[edit]

  • Castle of Sant Joan, or Suda, commanding the city from a 59-metre-high (194-foot) 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]

Due to its irregular precipitation patterns, that sees winter months have less precipitation than September but still a substantial summer drought, Tortosa has a transitional climate between a humid subtropical (Köppen Cfa) and a semi-arid climate (BSk), with mediterranean (Csa) influences.

Climate data for Tortosa 50m (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 26.0
(78.8)
26.3
(79.3)
32.5
(90.5)
33.9
(93)
36.0
(96.8)
39.6
(103.3)
43.0
(109.4)
41.1
(106)
41.4
(106.5)
34.5
(94.1)
28.2
(82.8)
25.6
(78.1)
43.0
(109.4)
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)
Record low °C (°F) −5.0
(23)
−6.4
(20.5)
−2.5
(27.5)
0.1
(32.2)
3.8
(38.8)
9.2
(48.6)
12.4
(54.3)
12.4
(54.3)
9.1
(48.4)
3.6
(38.5)
−2.0
(28.4)
−3.8
(25.2)
−6.4
(20.5)
Average 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)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 4 4 3 5 6 3 2 3 5 6 5 4 50
Average relative humidity (%) 65 63 60 59 60 58 57 60 64 68 67 67 62
Mean monthly sunshine hours 163 167 211 230 257 292 329 283 225 192 162 155 2,662
Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología[8]

Notable people[edit]

  • Felip Pedrell (1841–1922), composer and musicologist, was born in Tortosa.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ajuntament de Tortosa". Generalitat of Catalonia. Retrieved 2015-11-13. 
  2. ^ "El municipi en xifres: Tortosa". Statistical Institute of Catalonia. Retrieved 2015-11-23. 
  3. ^ Lucas Villegas-Aristizabal, "Anglo-Norman involvement in the conquest of Tortosa and Settlement of Tortosa, 1148-1180", Crusades 8 (2009), pp. 63-129.
  4. ^ Historia de la línea de La Puebla de Híjar-Alcañiz-Tortosa-Sant Carles de la Ràpita
  5. ^ El Punt - El cruel divorci entre Tortosa i el tren
  6. ^ "Jumelages et Relations Internationales - Avignon". Avignon.fr (in French). Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  7. ^ "Atlas français de la coopération décentralisée et des autres actions extérieures". Ministère des affaires étrangères (in French). Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  8. ^ "Valores climatológicos normales. Tortosa". 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]