Located on the Ebro and near the delta, the Arabian castle of La Suda is the first thing to be seen in Tortosa as it rises up above the rest of the city. The city was called Dertosa when occupied by the Romans who built the first walled structures but it was during the occupation of the Muslims that the magnificent Suda Castle was erected. Around the castle are several subterranean galleries where remains of an old mill and two ovens can be seen. Re-conquered by Count Ramon Berenguer in 1147, the castle became the residence of the Templars in gratitude for their help during the battle. From 1294, the castle was converted into a Royal Palace and was enlarged. The Renaissance was also an important period which contrasted with a weakened Catalonia after 10 years of war from 1462-1472. For a few years now Tortosa has celebrated the Renaissance with its Festa de Renaixement held during the 3rd week of July.
To do/see .
Near the river can be found the old centre with its Gothic cathedral, Santa Maria as well as other buildings of historical interest such as Santa Clara Convent, founded in 1283 which makes it one of the oldest in the city. The Jewish Quarter existed from the period of the Visigoths with prestigious bankers, traders and men of letters living in the Catalan Jewish Quarter next to the mouth of the Ebro. The castle has had a great deal of restoration and of the original structure one can see part of the walls, arches leading to the interior, the nave, parade ground and an important collection of subterranean galleries. There is now a parador in the castle.
23rd to 26th July – Renaissance Festival. During this festival, the people of Tortosa relive the epoch of the 16th Century. They dress up in period costume and the local shopkeepers have stalls in front of their shops selling their wares. The pastry shops recreate traditional confectionery such as Pope carob cakes and candied squash turnovers. Many of the cities squares and streets are transformed into taverns and one can follow the Route of the Twaite Shad through the streets of the old part of the town, going from tavern to tavern and trying Renaissance food and drink whilst watching jugglers or stilt walkers and listening to typical music.
1st week in September – Festival of The Virgin of the Cinta. Week-long activities including games, live music and contests.