Siurana Historical Site
Distance from L’Hospitalet de l'Infant: 67 km
Type of activity: hiking, swimming in the lake, sightseeing
Time required: whole day
Remark: Please note that the final ascent to the village in the route suggested below is very steep
          and narrow: not recommended for hiking with children under 12. However, there are other, gentler
          routes.

 
Siurana Historical Site

We suggest that you combine historical sight-seeing with a hiking tour that will amaze you!   A hike around the reservoir and mountains, including the ascent to the village of Siurana on the summit, takes about four to five hours, depending on the route. The trail will take you through the untouched Mediterranean forest with a final steep ascent to Siurana. It is worth noting that Siurana is a reference point not only for hikers but also for rock-climbers. For more details on  this hike please consult http://aventuradelsenderismo.wordpress.com/2009/05/03/caminos-de-siurana/

The reservoir’s clean and calm water is perfect for a refreshing swim after hiking or climbing, or for practicing kanooing (rentals available).

Siurana Historical Site

Upon arriving at Siurana you will discover a small fairytale village that has a deep-rooted memory of endless sieges and adventurous conquests. Perched on a steep cliff in the river, Siurana was thought to be impregnable for centuries, and if you look at the surrounding cliffs, you will realize why.  Siurana was the last Moorish stronghold in Catalonia and fell at last in 1153 after the more important bastions of Lleida and Tortosa had fallen. According to an ancient legend, in order to avoid being captured by the Christians, the Moorish queen Abdelazia cast herself off the summit with her horse. The animal, terrified in its futile resistance, left the permanent imprint of its horseshoe on the rock, a mark that can still be seen on the mountain to this day.

Nowadays, visitors can wander around a charming hamlet with cobbled streets and look at the remains of the Moorish castle presiding over the entrance to the village. The most impressive building nowadays in Siurana is the Romanesque church. It was built after Ramon Berenguer IV's ( 1113 –1162) troops conquered Siurana in order to bring Christianity back to the region. The doorway has been exceptionally well preserved with a figured tympanum, framed by three rounded archivolts resting on capitals with various decorative motifs. After banishing the Moors from Siurana, Ramon Berenguer IV granted a village charter to Bertram de Castellet and later to Albert de Castellvell. Until the 13th century the castle was used as a prison for members of the aristocracy, among which were Charles II of Naples (1226 –1285), known also as Charles of Anjou, king of Naples and Sicily.