A villa situated on the eastern slope of the Sierra de L'Argentera, through which passes the railway tunnel. Its name comes from the old galena mines. It is the starting point to Escornalbou castle, to which barony it belonged.
The area of L'Argentera is 10.12 km2 and it is situated 344m above sea level. The municipality comprises the town of L'Argentera, the isolated Sort and the Mas de la Trilla. It is surrounded by the municipalities of Duesaigües (to the north-east), Riudecanyes (E), Vilanova d'Escornalbou (SE), Colldejou (SW), The Tower of Fontaubella (W) and the Teixeta Pradell (NW).
The terrain is unfriendly, dominated by scrub and forests of pine and oak. It is drained by the ravines of the Serra and Valls, who make up the L'Argentera ravine, which drains into the Riudecanyes stream.
The founding of the village is attributed to the Romans and it is assumed that the name refers to their exploitation of galena veins. Though the accepted theory, there is no concrete evidence. The document that attests to its name is a document of Alfons I of 1180, which refers to illas argenteras. Before 1164, there was only mention of the ravine of L'Argentera.
L'Argentera was part of the barony of Escornalbou, which was linked to the master, and was given the rights to the lead and silver mines of Mount Puig Rodo by the archbishop of Tarragona; they continued operating until 1387.
In the nineteenth century, the construction of the L'Argentera tunnel, also known as the Turret, meant the grant of the title of Marquis de L'Argentera to its director Eduard Maristany.
The current layout of the village is due to Eduard Toda, who protected it whilst restoring Escornalbou. He restored the House Cabrer, and financed the construction of the new cemetery, the town hall, the schools, the Social Club and the landscaping of the streets. To honour his altruism, Gene Modest commissioned a sculpture of this philanthropic character.
Due to significant population growth, the village decided in 1750 to build the simple Baroque church of Saint Bartholomew, on the site of the former abbey. Previously, an abbey had been built in the same place. The gilded baroque altar piece by Pau Montserrat in La Selva was burnt in 1936 and only the old icon of St. Bartholomew was saved, which chairs the actual altar. It contained, as of 1838, many of the religious objects that had been removed from Escornalbou.
Modest Gené i Roig (Reus, 1914 – Bata, Equatorial Guinea, 1983) is the creator of the sculpture. He made monuments and religious imagery. Some of his most notable works are the statue of Our Lady of Mercy and the sculptures of the Calvary Chapel in the new Cathedral in Lleida. He lived abroad from the nineteen-fifties.
L'Argentera also includes the old district of La Trilla, which according to tradition, was the old warehouse and metall workplace, hence the name, of Tries or Trilla. Indeed, there are barite veins and lead around. It was classed as an stable and the archbishop owned it. Possibly it was the same house that in 1195 was given to Pere and his wife Joana, who must have been donating tithes to the sacristy of Escornalbou. The donation was confirmed in 1296 to Ramon Jujol and it is referred to as a farmhouse with an oven. In 1412, Pere Sagarriga gave the house to Pere and Ferrer Monter, from Pradell. Today it is a great country house, situated in the valley.
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