Turisme de L'Hospitalet de l'Infant i la Vall de Llors

The territory that makes up the municipality of Vandellòs and l’Hospitalet de l’Infant today has been occupied by various different civilisations over the centuries. Evidence of this is the existence of several archaeological sites which have been discovered in the municipality, such as that of the rock paintings painted in the levantina style and dating back to some time between the 7th and 2nd millennium BC.

 

Iberian civilization developed in the east of the Iberian Peninsula between the 7th and 1st centuries BC, and there are various sites that point to its presence in our municipality.

 

The establishment of Roman civilisation is clearly shown by the many Roman roads which criss-cross the area. There is a hypothesis that the Roman town of Oleastrum was located in l’Hospitalet de l’Infant, and the town is described in some classical sources as the first stop on the Via Augusta after leaving Tarraco (Tarragona) in the direction of Dertosa (Tortosa).

 

During the late Roman period there began a period of barbarian invasions, such as that of the Visigoths, which caused social instability. Finally it was the Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsula at the beginning of the 8th century which brought the Visigothic monarchy to an end. Muslim occupation lasted until the 12th century.

 

Ramón Berenguer IV and Alfonso II led the reconquest of the last Muslim outposts in these districts. The reconquered territories passed to the Catalan Crown and were organised in feudal estates which were granted to nobles and knights who had been loyal to the Crown. In 1153, the Count of Barcelona, Ramón Berenguer IV, granted Guillermo de Castellvell the feudal estate known as the Barony of Entença, and of which Vandellòs formed part.           

Guillermo de Castellvell had three sons and it was the first-born, Baron Alberto de Castellvell the II, who in 1191 along with Arnau de Fonollar, granted the charter which set out the boundaries of Vandellòs. Ramón de Riudoms, the promoter of the repopulation, brought a number of settlers to colonize, put down roots and establish themselves in the area.

 

Alberto de Castellvell never returned from the Crusades and from this point on the line of the Entenças begins, of whom Berenguer de Entença is prominent for the repopulation of the southern area of the municipality by means of a charter for the town of Coll de Balaguer, established in 1276.

 

Berenguer’s brother Guillermo inherited the territories and in 1304 began the repopulation of the area of l’Hospitalet de l’Infant. In 1346 Pedro, “el infante”, son of Jaume II d'Aragó "El Just" and Blanca de Anjou, began the construction of a hospice for the poor next to the coast road, thus facilitating the repopulation of the area.

 

The geographical situation of the municipality, lying as it does between the lands of the Ebro, the Campo de Tarragona and the inland districts, has allowed the inhabitants of the area, over the years, to make contact with other cultures through the creation of trade routes for the exchange of goods and people.

 

The 19th century was a period of wars which brought suffering to the inhabitants in the form of a period of instability and slow economic and social growth.

 

At the beginning of the 20th century the various towns, with the exception of l’Hospitalet de l’Infant, reached a peak in terms of the number of inhabitants, due to a boom in the agricultural sector. But from the turn of the century onwards, for various reasons, one of which was the outbreak of philoxeria which decimated most of the vines, there was a movement of population away from the smaller inland towns and villages (Fatxes, Castelló, Masdevalentí, Gavadá, Remullá, etc.), to the coast or to major communication junctions.

 

One of the most remarkable features of the last quarter of the 20th century in l’Hospitalet de l’Infant and Vandellòs, was the arrival of tourists from all over, a phenomenon which caused a great demand for services and which led to strong growth in the service sector. The development of tourism during the 60’s and 80’s was an important economic driver for the municipality and remains so today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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