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 are going to love it, for sure.
The medieval village of Horta de San Juan
The town of Horta de San Juan is a municipality full of charm. One of those quiet towns through which you want to walk to calmly discover those corners that make it special. We are going to talk to you about them.
Convent of San Salvador
We are going to start the visit to Horta de San Juan in the outskirts. The Franciscan convent of San Salvador is an Asset of Cultural Interest. An enclosure whose buildings belong to different stages, which go from the 12th century onwards.
The convent is in ruins, although some parts of the old construction can be seen, such as the remains of the cloister. In fact, every year many pilgrims come here, who also visit the cave and the San Salvador fountain, very close to this area. The one that has remained standing is the church.
A walk through the urban area
In Horta de San Juan you have to discover beautiful places such as its porticoed square, or 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.
House of the Command
A building declared a Cultural Asset of National Interest. Now it is a private residence, but in its history it served as the headquarters of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem.
In its exterior 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. There is also a coat of arms of Navarre on the door and a tower in one of its upper corners.
The Prior’s tower
We already 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, you can see around the tower remains of other buildings, 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 Dels Ports Natural Park, a protected area where many species of both flora and fauna live. In fact, it is a Special Protection Area for Birds (ZEPA).
If you are to take your backpack and put on comfortable clothes to walk through the mountains or other natural environments, the trip to Terres del’Ebre is going to enchant you. In this park you have up to ten peaks to crown. The highest, Mount Caro, at 1,441 meters.
On your way you will enjoy a walk through pine forests of different species. And it is easy that you can spot some specimens of its varied fauna, although the one that reigns here is the wild goat . There are also otters, wildcats or bats.
But, as we said, it is a special habitat for birds. In fact, in this park there are specimens of birds of prey that range 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 areas of great natural wealth. Among them, the Ebro Delta Natural Park stands out, which is also a destination for tourists looking for protected green spaces.