The Monastery of Santa Maria de Poblet is, without doubt, the outstanding attraction amongst the rich architectural and historic heritage of La Conca de Barberà. The largest inhabited monastery in Europe, Poblet, is catalogued as world heritage by UNESCO.
The monastery, situated at the foot of the Prades mountains, is impressive in its sober austerity. The site contains many features well worth visiting, such as the Abbot's Palace, the Chapter House, the cloister, the Royal Palace and the gardens, not forgetting the church, which houses the tombs of the monarchs of Aragon, including that of Jaume I, the Conqueror.
With origins going back to 1151, the monastery has played an important role in Catalan history, and its library houses important historic and artistic treasures relating from the Crown of Catalonia and Aragon.
Together with the monasteries of Santes Creus and Vallbona de les Monges, the Monastery of Santa Maria de Poblet makes this the most extraordinary Cistercian route in Europe.
Traces from the Middle Ages are found in all the towns and villages of La Conca de Barberà, giving the entire county an attractive medieval air.
The magnificent walled city of Montblanc, along with its churches, former hospitals, palaces and mansions make this a veritable monumental jewel whose attractions are seen at their best in Medieval Week, around St George's Day.
Another outstanding medieval site is the Monastery of Poblet, in Vimbodí, a township whose attractions also include the Church of La Transfiguració del Senyor. In l'Espluga de Francolí we find the Church of Sant Miquel, whilst Sarral boasts the remains of a Jewish quarter, or Call, and in Barberà de la Conca stand the ruins of a Templar castle.
Conesa conserves its medieval air thanks to its stone-paved streets, the ruins of its old castle, its gates and its church. Finally, Santa Coloma de Queralt, former capital of the earldom of Queralt, conserves portals, churches and the old castle of the counts.
The Prades mountains are well known and much loved by all Catalan nature-lovers, as this is an exceptional ecosystem protected under the PEIN plan for spaces of natural interest in Catalonia. The highest point in these mountains, which cover a total area of 260 km2, is La Baltasana (1201 meters). Outstanding sights here are the state-owned forests of Poblet, 3,000 hectares of exuberant natural beauty, much of it lying within the municipal boundaries of Vimbodí, as well as such towns as Vilanova de Prades, Vallclara and Rojals.
The peculiar climate in the area is characterised by frequently very low temperatures and snowfalls in winter, making this a unique microclimate in Catalonia. The Pyrenean oak predominates here, along with such autocthonous produce as the Vilanova de Prades chestnut, which boasts a local certificate of quality. Visitors will find a multitude of well-signposted routes and even specialist mountain guides, enabling hikers and climbers of all ages and levels of expertise to discover the incredible wealth, spectacular beauty and remarkable contrasts to be found in these mountains.
Pira & Conca de Barberà · Wines & Cavas
Popular Festivities · Leisure · Food & Driinks · Cultural Routes