Vilanova d'Escornalbou

Vilanova d'Escornalbou

Vilanova, located on the edge of the field Plana del Camp, was not included in the donation of Bishop Ramon Berenguer III to the Bishop Oleguer. At the beginning of the Frankish conquest it was part of the governates of Siurana and then included in the area given to Joan of Santboià, first prior of Escornalbou, by King Alfonso I in 1170. It was, from the outset and until it was extinguished, part of the barony of Escornalbou. In the thirteenth century hazel were planted there. In 1339 it belonged to the Commune of Camp. Vilanova in the seventeenth century was a walled town with three gates. In 1687 a plague of locusts arrived in town.

In the eighteenth century, the cultivation of vegetables, cereals, hazelnut, almond and carob was very productive.

In the First Carlist War, the town gates were rebuilt and the steeple of the church was adapted to fulfil a defence function. During the nineteenth century the town was no stranger to various disasters like the downpour of Santa Tecla in the year 1874 which flooded the land and swept away all its buildings, including the mill village. Two years later, the fields were badly damaged by frost. In the early twentieth century the Agricultural Workers' Cooperative Society was founded, in 1916 the schools were finished, in 1920 electricity arrived, and telephone services in 1932.

 

Places of interest

El Castellet

The central part of the town, behind the main square, is called El Castellet and is compact in size. Maybe the name comes from the belief that there was a castle. No remains of the town walls, which had three gates, are left – they were demolished in the early twentieth century and again in 1910.

The Town Hall

The Town Hall dates from the sixteenth century, as a stone is engraved with the year 1583. In the arcades, the market and other public events were celebrated during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Behind is the old bakery of the village, which was built back in 1691.

The church

The parish church of Sant Joan is from the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It has a single nave with connecting chapels and a polygonal apse. In 1626 the temple was expanded and in 1640 already had an abbey. During the Civil War, 1936, pictures of the altar were removed by the order of the revolutionary committee. Still visible are the fortifications made to the facade and to the bell tower during the wars of the nineteenth century.

Interesting buildings

In the village there are other buildings of interest, for example Cal Peirí, also called Camp Reiet, referring to its mythical fortune in the War of the Reapers. The building is from the late seventeenth century, located on Calle de la Font and has a defensive tower. According to tradition, it could hold 70 horses. The keystone of the door is dated 1699. Most village houses were built in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with segments and portals made from red stone.

L'Arbocet

Vilanova d'Escornalbou includes the area L'Arbocet or Arboç as it is called by the inhabitants of Vilanova, located to the right of the gully or ravine of Sant Magi Palomera, and Over Munter. The most characteristic image of the town, which defines its shape, are the two watchtowers; around them, Christians lived, and the square was inhabited by Moors. L'Arboç, from the first moment of the barony Escornalbou, participated in the meetings of the Commune of Camp.

Mas de Munter

The village also included the area of the Mas de Munter, near the road to Reus and the ravine of the Font. L'Arbocet was integrated and was part of the barony of Escornalbou. It has a square tower, of Roman origin, around which there is a fake castle.

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