Located in the Catalan province of Tarragona, Horta de San Juan is a town with a traditional and old air. And not only that, but it is located in the Terres de l’Ebre region, which hides places of great natural wealth. Do you want to know him a little better? You will love it for sure.
The medieval town of Horta de San Juan
The town of Horta de San Juan is a municipality full of charm. One of those quiet towns where you feel like walking to calmly discover those corners that make it special. We are going to talk about them.
Convent of San Salvador
We will start the visit to Horta de San Juan in the outskirts. The Franciscan convent of San Salvador is a Site of Cultural Interest. An enclosure whose buildings belong to different stagesranging from the twelfth century onwards.
The convent is in ruins, although you can see some parts of the old construction, such as the remains of the cloister. In fact, every year many pilgrims arrive here, who also visit the cave and the source of San Salvador, very close to this area. The one that has remained standing is the church.
A walk through the town center
In Horta de San Juan you have to discover places as beautiful as its arcaded square, or like its town hall, a Renaissance building from the 16th century. You should also stop at the church of San Juan Bautista, a Gothic temple built between the 12th and 14th centuries.
A building declared a Cultural Asset of National Interest. Now it is a private residence, but in its history served as the seat of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem.
In its external structure we can appreciate Renaissance details in its construction. For example, the semicircular arches in its lower part, or the gargoyles that adorn its two floors. A coat of arms of Navarre is also preserved over the door and a tower in one of its upper corners.
The Prior’s Tower
We left the town. This is a defensive fortification from the Middle Ages that protected the lands dedicated to agriculture. It is located in an area that in previous times it was possible to develop this activity due to the proximity of sources and elements that facilitated irrigation.
In fact, the remains of other buildings can be seen around the tower, so at some point this place was key in the future of Horta de San Juan. Strolling next to the convent or the Prior’s tower is the best way to get closer to the history of the town.
Natural environment in Terres de l’Ebre
The municipality of Horta de San Juan, in addition to its architectural wealth, has an interesting natural environment. It is located in the Natural Park of the Ports, a protected area where many species live, both flora and fauna. In fact, it is a Special Protection Area for Birds (ZEPA).
If you like to take your backpack and put on comfortable clothes to walk in the mountains or other natural environments, you will love the trip to Terres del’Ebre. In this park you have up to ten peaks to crown. The highest, Mount Caro, with 1441 meters.
In your way you will enjoy a walk through pine forests of different species. And it is easy for you to spot some specimens of its varied fauna, although the one that reigns here is the wild goat. There are also otters, wild cats or bats.
But, as we said, it is a special habitat for birds. In fact, specimens of birds of prey live in this park, ranging from the griffon vulture or the golden eagle, to the peregrine falcon or the eagle owl.
Within Terres de l’Ebre, and very close to Horta de San Juan, there are more spaces of great natural wealth. Among them, the Ebro Delta Natural Park stands out, which is also a destination for tourists seeking protected green spaces.