Albinyana or Albiñana is a village in the province of Tarragona and the autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain. It belongs to Tarragona in the Baix Penedès region. According to data from 2009, its population was 2,275. In the eleventh century, Viscount Guitard built his castle in Albinyana, his son Adalbert, who died during the Reconquista, bequeathed the place to the Monastery of San Cugat. In 1040, the abbot of the monastery ceded the lands to Bernat Otger on condition that he would rebuild the castle and take care of its defense. On being located in close proximity to the border and fearing Saracen attacks, the castle remained uninhabited for a long time, it belonged to the monks of Sant Cugat until the end of the lordships. There are no remains of the castle today although it is believed that it was located in the same place that today forms the center of the village. There were missing two other fortifications. One is the old Esquena Roja castle, mentioned in documents from 1173. Shortly thereafter it became a farmhouse.
The other fortification is the Tomoví castle, although documents found seem to suggest that it was more of a fortified mansion than a castle itself. The parish church was dedicated to St. Bartholomew. Although it appeared documented in 1120 as a possession of San Cugat, the current building is from the eighteenth century, it has a semicircular apse with window. The bell tower is topped by the image of a little angel. In Plaza Major there is another remarkable building: Cal Pau Magí, it is a seventeenth-century building with three floors. Inside there is a lobby covered with a vaulted arch and the stairs to the residential area where the date of construction is inscribed, it is the former residence of the San Cugat administrator. In Les Peces there is a large building known as Cal Gener, it is a building of the sixteenth centuries, rebuilt in the eighteenth century. The windows are surrounded by stone and its façade presents some interesting sgraffiti restored in 1984, they represent various architectural and geometric elements.
It operates as a house-museum dedicated to rural tourism. The Sant Antoni hermitage is found on the outskirts of Albinyana, it is an eighteenth-century building with a gable roof. It has a barrel exterior buttresses, it has an attached tower that serves as a bell tower. It is believed, it is located on a small hill and the entire structure is white. The main economic activity is rainfed agriculture; the main crops are vineyards, grains and hazelnut. Until the mid-twentieth century there was a major industry devoted to manufacturing palm baskets; the town celebrates its festivals in July, coinciding with the Virgen del Carmen, on August 24, the feast of the San Bartolomé. Information about the Municipality Photos and information about Cal gener Government data pages
Autonomous communities of Spain
In Spain, an autonomous community is a first-level political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish constitution of 1978, with the aim of guaranteeing limited autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make up Spain. Spain is not a federation, but a decentralized unitary state. While sovereignty is vested in the nation as a whole, represented in the central institutions of government, the nation has, in variable degrees, devolved power to the communities, which, in turn, exercise their right to self-government within the limits set forth in the constitution and their autonomous statutes; each community has its own set of devolved powers. Some scholars have referred to the resulting system as a federal system in all but name, or a "federation without federalism". There are 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities that are collectively known as "autonomies"; the two autonomous cities have the right to become autonomous communities, but neither has yet exercised it.
This unique framework of territorial administration is known as the "State of Autonomies". The autonomous communities are governed according to the constitution and their own organic laws known as Statutes of Autonomy, which contain all the competences that they assume. Since devolution was intended to be asymmetrical in nature, the scope of competences vary for each community, but all have the same parliamentary structure. Spain is a diverse country made up of several different regions with varying economic and social structures, as well as different languages and historical and cultural traditions. While the entire Spanish territory was united under one crown in 1479 this was not a process of national homogenization or amalgamation; the constituent territories—be it crowns, principalities or dominions—retained much of their former institutional existence, including limited legislative, judicial or fiscal autonomy. These territories exhibited a variety of local customs, laws and currencies until the mid nineteenth century.
From the 18th century onwards, the Bourbon kings and the government tried to establish a more centralized regime. Leading figures of the Spanish Enlightenment advocated for the building of a Spanish nation beyond the internal territorial boundaries; this culminated in 1833, when Spain was divided into 49 provinces, which served as transmission belts for policies developed in Madrid. However, unlike in other European countries such as France, where regional languages were spoken in rural areas or less developed regions, two important regional languages of Spain were spoken in some of the most industrialized areas, moreover, enjoyed higher levels of prosperity, in addition to having their own cultures and historical consciousness; these were Catalonia. This gave rise to peripheral nationalisms along with Spanish nationalism; therefore and social changes that had produced a national cultural unification in France had the opposite effect in Spain. As such, Spanish history since the late 19th century has been shaped by a dialectical struggle between Spanish nationalism and peripheral nationalisms in Catalonia and the Basque Country, to a lesser degree in Galicia.
In a response to Catalan demands, limited autonomy was granted to Catalonia in 1914, only to be abolished in 1923. It was granted again in 1932 during the Second Spanish Republic, when the Generalitat, Catalonia's mediaeval institution of government, was restored; the constitution of 1931 envisaged a territorial division for all Spain in "autonomous regions", never attained—only Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia had approved "Statutes of Autonomy"—the process being thwarted by the Spanish Civil War that broke out in 1936, the victory of the rebel Nationalist forces under Francisco Franco. During General Franco's dictatorial regime, centralism was most forcefully enforced as a way of preserving the "unity of the Spanish nation". Peripheral nationalism, along with communism and atheism were regarded by his regime as the main threats, his attempts to fight separatism with heavy-handed but sporadic repression, his severe suppression of language and regional identities backfired: the demands for democracy became intertwined with demands for the recognition of a pluralistic vision of the Spanish nationhood.
When Franco died in 1975, Spain entered into a phase of transition towards democracy. The most difficult task of the newly democratically elected Cortes Generales in 1977 acting as a Constituent Assembly was to transition from a unitary centralized state into a decentralized state in a way that would satisfy the demands of the peripheral nationalists; the Prime Minister of Spain, Adolfo Suárez, met with Josep Tarradellas, president of the Generalitat of Catalonia in exile. An agreement was made so that the Generalitat would be restored and limited competencies would be transferred while the constitution was still being written. Shortly after, the government allowed the creation of "assemblies of members of parliament" integrated by deputies and senators of the different territories of Spain, so that they could constitute "pre-autonomic regimes" for their regions as well; the Fathers of the Constitution had to strike a balance between the opposing views of Spain—on the one hand, the centralist view inherited from Franco's regime, on the other hand federalism and a pluralistic view of Spain as a "nation of nations".
Ginestar is a municipality in the comarca of Ribera d'Ebre in the province of Tarragona, Spain. This traditional Catalan village with a population of around 800 people still retains many of its traditions and farming methods, its broad and narrow streets are lined with traditional Catalan houses. Located only a short distance from the river Ebro, this is becoming a popular destination for anglers from all over Europe. Crops grown in this area are vines and almonds. There are several fiestas in Ginestar, which commence in April and continue through till November, when the village celebrates its patron saint's day, Sant Martí. Government data pages
Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona
Ramon Berenguer IV, sometimes called the Saint, was the Count of Barcelona who brought about the union of his County of Barcelona with the Kingdom of Aragon to form the Crown of Aragon. Ramon Berenguer IV inherited the county of Barcelona from his father Ramon Berenguer III on 19 August 1131. On 11 August 1137, at the age of about 24, he was betrothed to the infant Petronilla of Aragon, aged one at the time. Petronilla's father, Ramiro II of Aragon, who sought Barcelona's aid against Alfonso VII of Castile, withdrew from public life on 13 November 1137, leaving his kingdom to Petronilla and Ramon Berenguer, the latter in effect becoming ruler of Aragon, although he was never king himself, instead using the titles "Count of the Barcelonans and Prince of the Aragonians", those of "Marquis of Lleida and Tortosa", he was the last Catalan ruler to use "Count" as his primary title. The treaty between Ramon Berenguer and his father-in-law, Ramiro II, stipulated that their descendants would rule jointly over both realms, that if Petronilla died before the marriage could be consummated, Berenguer's heirs would still inherit the Kingdom of Aragon.
Both realms would preserve their laws and autonomy, remaining distinct but federated in a dynastic union under one ruling House. Historians consider this arrangement the political masterstroke of the Hispanic Middle Ages. Both realms gained Aragon got its much needed outlet to the sea. On the other hand, formation of a new political entity in the north-east at the time when Portugal seceded from León in the west gave more balance to the Christian kingdoms of the peninsula. Ramon Berenguer pulled Aragon out of its pledged submission to Castile, aided no doubt by his sister Berengaria, wife of Alfonso the Emperor, well known in her time for her beauty and charm. In the middle years of his rule, Ramon Berenguer turned his attention to campaigns against the Moors. In October 1147, as part of the Second Crusade, he helped Castile to conquer Almería, he invaded the lands of the Almoravid taifa kingdoms of Valencia and Murcia. In December 1148, he captured Tortosa after a five-month siege with the help of Southern French, Anglo-Norman and Genoese crusaders.
The next year, Fraga and Mequinenza in the confluence of the Segre and Ebro rivers fell to his army. Ramon Berenguer campaigned in Provence, helping his brother Berenguer Ramon and his infant nephew Ramon Berenguer II against the Counts of Toulouse. During the minority of Ramon Berenguer II, the Count of Barcelona acted as the regent of Provence. In 1151, Ramon signed the Treaty of Tudilén with Alfonso VII of Castile; the treaty defined the zones of conquest in Andalusia as an attempt to prevent the two rulers from coming into conflict. In 1151, Ramon Berenguer founded and endowed the royal monastery of Poblet. In 1154, he accepted the regency of Gaston V of Béarn in return for the Bearnese nobles rendering him homage at Canfranc, thus uniting that small principality with the growing Aragonese empire. Ramon Berenguer IV died on 6 August 1162 in Borgo San Dalmazzo, Italy, leaving the title of Count of Barcelona to his eldest surviving son, Ramon Berenguer, who inherited the title of King of Aragon after the abdication of his mother Petronilla of Aragon two years in 1164.
He changed his name to Alfonso as a nod to his Aragonese lineage, became Alfonso II of Aragon. Ramon Berenguer IV's younger son Pere inherited the county of Cerdanya and lands north of the Pyrenees, changed his name to Ramon Berenguer; the Chronicle of San Juan de la Peña said he was, " man of great nobility and probity, of lively temperament, high counsel, great bravery, steady intellect, who displayed great temperance in all his actions. He was handsome in appearance, with a large body and well-proportioned limbs." Riley-Smith, Jonathan. Atlas of the Crusades. New York: Facts on File. Villegas-Aristizabal, Lucas, "Anglo-Norman involvement in the conquest of Tortosa and Settlement of Tortosa, 1148-1180", Crusades 8, pp. 63–129
Benissanet is a municipality in the comarca of Ribera d'Ebre in the province of Tarragona, Spain. Government data pages
Aldover is a municipality in the comarca of Baix Ebre, in the province of Tarragona, in Catalonia, Spain. There was a RENFE railway line from Tortosa to Alcañiz and Zaragoza that used to pass through this town until 1973; this line was dismantled as a result of a 1962 World Bank report advising the Spanish State to concentrate investment in the great lines and to abandon the less profitable railways connecting rural areas. Since the line was terminated, the rails were pulled off and the Aldover train station buildings lie abandoned. Pàgina web de l'Ajuntament Government data pages
Province of Tarragona
Tarragona, is a province of the southern part of Catalonia. It is bordered by the provinces of Castelló, Saragossa and Barcelona and by the Mediterranean Sea; the province's population is 795,902, about one fifth of whom live in Tarragona. Some of the larger cities and towns in Tarragona province include Reus, Salou, El Vendrell, Valls, Amposta; this province has 183 municipalities. The province is a popular tourist destination. There are Roman Catholic cathedrals in Tortosa. After the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the late eighth century, this part of Spain came under the control of the Umayyad Caliphate and most of the Iberian peninsula was known as Al-Andalus, was dominated by Muslim rulers. Abd al-Rahman I founded an independent dynasty that survived in the region until the 11th century. After the Muslim conquest, the bishopric of Tarragona came under the jurisdiction of the metropolitans of Narbonne or Auch in southern France. In 1089, this was reorganised, it came under the jurisdiction of the bishopric of Vich, in 1118, after Tarragona had been reconquered, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tarragona was established.
The province of Tarragona is in the northeast of Spain with a coast on the Mediterranean Sea. Much of the province is hilly or mountainous and the main feature is the broad valley of the River Ebro and the coastal plain, backed by the Catalan ranges. In general the industrial development is on the coast and inland is predominantly forest and agricultural land; the Mediterranean Sea lies to the southeast of the province, the province of Barcelona lies to the northeast, Lleida lies to the north, Zaragoza to the northwest, Teruel to the west and Castellón to the southwest. The climate is Mediterranean with warm, wet winters; the area of the province is 6,500 square kilometres. The main crops are cereals, fruit, olives and silk; the province has some mineral resources. Quarrying for aggregate has caused ground water levels to fall and the environment has been adversely affected by the arrival of invasive species such as the zebra mussel in the Riba-roja d'Ebre reservoir on the Ebro, the invasive fish Gambusia in the Ebro delta and chemical contamination in the Flix reservoir beside, a chemical works and hydro-electric plant.
As well as the port city of Tarragona, the province has much to offer for the tourist. There are Catalan villages to visit, historic sites, sandy beaches, rocky shores, crags and woodlands and several wildlife reserves; the area has been publicised under the Costa Daurada brand. The city of Tarragona may have been founded by the Phoenicians and was a major city in Roman times that they called Tarraco. There are many archaeological remains from that period but little remains of the second century amphitheatre; the Les Ferreres Aqueduct has survived intact. It was built to supply water to the ancient city and is part of the Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000; the city houses a cathedral, dating from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, which combines Romanesque and Gothic architectural features. There are many historic churches and convents; the Catalan authorities have designated four villages as "family holiday destinations". These are Calafell, Cambrils, La Pineda and nearby Vila-seca, Salou.
Salou is the site of the PortAventura World. The Costa Daurada is served by Reus Airport which receives tourist traffic from passengers journeying to the beach resorts of Salou and Cambrils as well as those travelling to Barcelona, it is a destination of low cost flights provider Ryanair, planes fly to Reus from many different European and North African locations. The province has good road and rail links to Barcelona and southwards to Valencia and Andalusia along the coastal strip, high-speed rail services from Tarragona to Madrid started in 2008. There are several monasteries in the province that can be visited by following the "Cistercian Monastery Route"; the best known is the Cistercian monastery of Poblet in the comarca of Conca de Barberà, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Other monasteries on the route include the Santes Creus, in the municipality of Aiguamúrcia, Vallbona de les Monges. Other attractions of the province include the wine; the "Penedès Wine and Cava Route" is a tourist trail offering wine-related activities.
There are festivals celebrating local fare, where local gastronomic specialities are eaten, including calçots in Valls, Xató a sauce served with fish or an endive salad. List of communities in Tarragona Comarques of Catalonia