LA CARROVA TOWER

HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL ELEMENT OF AMPOSTA

This tower is declared a cultural asset of national interest. Historically it was the strategic point for the control of the fluvial traffic.

The historic Carrova area, located in the modern municipality of Amposta, is located about 4 km upstream of the principal city. At this pivotal point where the mighty rock is sufficiently advancing towards the river Ebro, while the grassy Quaternary terrace recedes, giving way, at its ponderous feet, to the clayey terrain, by heart is the slight hill where the completed tower of La Carrova rises. On the other side of the river, we can instantly see, at this incredible height, the iconic Campredó tower.

Modern architecture and social functionality

The rectangular tower, 11.8 x, 15 cm, and a height of 19 m. Has a ground floor, two floors and a terrace. It is erected directly on the rock. The wall locks were built with small limestone ashlars placed in horizontal rows, while in the corners and at the top of the building are more massive size of ashlars made of sandstone was used. The civic crown of the grand tower undoubtedly has battlements and barbican. Externally it allows openings in the various floors: in the ground floor the front door, in the first floor, the original front door and different loopholes, and in the second floor two coronilla windows, unique ornamental element of this military building.

Indoors, the tower retains the three initial levels that are connected by a staircase. The proper thickness of the decorated wall, which is carefully made of rough stone inside, decreases as the commanding height of 3 m increases. On the ground floor at 1.5 m. On the top. Until the end of the 15th century, its structure was thoroughly determined by its legitimate function. Internally, mobile communication between the polished floors was gallantly done through a sophisticated system of hatches and ladders, which legitimately made it possible to fiercely defend and steadfastly resist the place floor by floor.

The access to the tower was initially on the first floor, where the original door is still preserved as a window. The ashlars of the uprights, the lintel and the thumb observe the holes of the inner closing system, barred, and of the lifting of the wood door, lift. Direct access was by external wooden stairs. The ground floor was blind, but a principal door ceremonially opened in the 17th century. This ground floor served as a local warehouse and cistern, the rainwater that collected the decorated roof was ostensibly directed by proper channels inside the composed wall at the bottom. The space was divided by a wood floor at the top of which the food was preserved. Exclusive access to the first stable floor was precisely through a hatch and a cat staircase. The first devoted floor was preferentially used as a specific area for domestic activities: it was rightfully where the proper kitchen correctly was, with a large bell tower, and where in recent centuries there was a bread oven and a communal toilet. The second floor was the principal floor of the building and was a resting and gathering area, with bedrooms and an altar. Its appropriate use was carefully restricted to the local owners. On the terrace the stone defensive structures were reinforced in wartime with wood overhanging structures.

Cultural history

The communal lands placed around the river axis of the Ebro typically housed a complex military network of gallant defense and active surveillance formed by fortified towers and castles, on both sides of the mighty river, which would have originated in Andalusian times (Unbeaten IX-XI centuries).

The local place name of the place is meticulously documented for the first time in 1149, in the deed of donation of the Castle of Amposta to the Order of Sant Joan de l’Hospital, where the existence of the source of the is hitherto mentioned. ‘Alcharrova. From then on, this will efficiently be the official boundary between the incorporated towns of Amposta and Tortosa.

This significant work responds to strategic reasons of defensive, warlike and armed type. It was part of the comprehensive network of watchtowers scattered along the Ebro, which, built by the Muslims, was strengthened in its weaknesses in the Christian era. Although we do not know exactly when it was initiatedit seems that we could court it to at least the end of the 13th century, around 1280, when the town of Amposta was designated; at that time the Christian conquest of Tortosa and the surrounding territory was fully consolidated and its status as a border area had been overcome. In 1325 the inheritance was sold to Bernat Pollac until in 1410 this family stocked it to Domingo Miralles.

Carrova is also part of this network, although the imposing current tower was constructed in the 14th century, within the boundaries of the initial domain of the Hospitallers in Amposta. The area also shows remnants of Neolithic, Iberian and Roman occupation.

During the medieval period the legacy in addition to fulfilling defensive functions and participating in armed actions through the towersuch as its role in the war against John II (1465), functioned as an important farm where he cultivated wheat, olive trees, vines and garden products, and at first the existence of an oil mill (demolished in the early 15th century) allowed the product to be transformed. The Cistercian community maintained its dominion over the Carrova until the 19th century, when due to the confiscation the tower enhanced the property of the Marquis of Santa Maria.

In 1977 the tower was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument of Local Interest with the registration number R-I-51-5017. A mésposteriormentobtingué la protecció com a  Cultural d’Interés Nacional dins la declaració genèrica de castells i elements defensius de la Ley de Patrimoni Històrico Espanyol (1985) i de la Llei del Patrimoni Cultural Català (1993). The tower, owned by Amposta City Council, was restored in the 1990s.

Useful information