Pratdip is located on the south western slope of the Sierra de Llaberia. When looking at the town, the castle crowns the town and one can also see two beautiful square tower defending the ancient ramparts and the remarkable Gothic parish church, with a Romanesque portal. The sanctuary of Santa Marina also stands out, and attracts great devotion in the area, with its medicinal water fountains. The area occupies 36.05 km2. It ranges in height from 100m above sea level to the 862m of the Mont-round, which belongs to the Sierra de Llaberia. The town grew up around a 245m hill. It is at the confluence of two canyons, that of Dovi and Santa Marina. The fields are full of hazelnut and olive orchards, forest, fruit and, at the foot of the village, a series of gardens that give it a pleasant bucolic air.
Pratdip, known by the people from the surrounding areas and from the village itself as El Prat, is a place name of pre-Roman origin, according to Joan Coromines. The village is mentioned in the Anastasi IV bulls in 1154 and the Celestia III, in 1194. Pratdip belonged to the barony of Entença. In medieval times the Hospital, the current Hospitalet de l'Infant, earned various rights over Pratdip.
Like most villages near the Baix Camp, Pratdip suffered the arrival of troops during the Peninsular war. In 1822 the royalist rebels barricaded themselves into a building in the outskirts of Pratdip. For the duration of the Carlist Wars the castle became a fortress. In 1846 there was an earthquake which caused the town's population to flee to the upper part of the town.
The town has a legend indicating that the area surrounding the village was inhabited by animals called dips, which would eventually give the town its name. They looked a lot like dogs, as can be seen in the representation in the ancient altar of Santa Marina. It is said that these dips used to go out at night and were like vampire dogs, feeding on the blood of the cattle from the village.
The sinks of the villa, in very good condition, are a reminder of the town's inhabitants' harsh living conditions before the arrival of electricity and electrical appliances. However, many women from Pratdip still use them to wash clothes and gossip with neighbours.
A must do visit is the parish church of Santa Maria, which has gothic elements such as the vault of the apse and the Romanesque portal which was restored in 1959. The retable were burned in 1936.
Amongst the houses stand out two square towers, the Cal Capet and Portal, who served as a prison, and the Ca la Torre. The two were part of the wall that protected the medieval village. The castle, along with the town, was part of the barony of Entença first and, later, of the county of Prades - it has been uninhabited since the seventeenth century. During the Carlist wars it served as a fort and was a permanent garrison.
The eighteenth century hermitage of Santa Marina is about 4km from the town, in the direction of Llaberia. It attracts a lot of people and inspires great devotion. It is also a point of departure and arrival of several excursions. The entire chapel is composed of five buildings, the Hermitage, home of the fountain, the home of the hermit, the big house and the old resort.
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