Things to Do in Miravet

The last Templar castle

Located in a strategic passage of the river Ebro, its millenary castle hosted the headquarters of the Templars and their famous treasure. Thus, it was the scene of their last and heroic resistance. It is characterized by maintaining a traditional ferry, an important pottery craft and a production of cherries of great fame. In 1938, the most spectacular events of the terrible Battle of the Ebro took place in its surroundings.

Plan your stay in Miravet

In addition to the small and marvellous town centre around the castle, everything related to the Battle of the Ebro must be seen in Miravet. To do this, you must visit the surrounding towns. In the section What to see in Miravet we detail the most interesting places and their timetables.

This is a full weekend getaway because you have to make quite a few short trips. We recommend taking the time to experience crossing the Ebro by boat. A good continuation for the getaway is to go along the C-12 to Benifallet and visit its very long Cave of Wonders, surrounded by stalactites. Further on, you can take the detour that leads to the north, surrounding the beautiful Els Ports Natural Park to Horta de Sant Joan.

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Miravet: a Moorish past

What there is to see in Miravet is linked to its history. Some Iberian vestiges have been found. The so-called Muràbit stands out since the 8th century as a Muslim farmhouse. Between 1009 and 1061 it was part of the Taifa kingdom of Tortosa. After that, it belonged to the taifa of Zaragoza and finally depended on the Almoravid empire.

From the end of the 11th century it reinforced the fortress situated at the top of the crag to resist the growing pressure of the Christians. Along with Siurana, Muràbit Castle was one of the last in Catalonia to fall to the Christians. Thus, it was not taken over by Count Ramon Berenguer IV until 1153.

The count entrusted the custody of the place to the Military Order of the Temple. The Order even promoted the construction of a castle-monastery in the Cistercian Romanesque style, which was the main seat of the Order in Aragon. Its Jewish inhabitants remained there (until 1492). The Moors then represented 97% of the population.


During the history of Miravet, this was an important centre of operations for the Templars in their innumerable military interventions and conquests. But the continuity of this important order would be interrupted by the decision of Pope V to put it out of law. For this reason, King James II of Aragon ordered the arrest of all the Templars in December 1307.

A few weeks later the siege of Miravet began. The knights heroically resisted for almost a year. However, on the 12th of December 1308 they peacefully surrendered the fortress. Six knights refused to obey the order to surrender and locked themselves in one of the towers, surrendering two days later. Once in the hands of the besiegers, they were immediately executed. Since then, the tower has been called “of the Blood”.

In 1312 the papacy abolishes the Order of the Militia of the Temple of Solomon. All their properties in Aragon were transferred in 1317 to the Order of the Hospital of Jerusalem, with Miravet depending on the castellany they had in Amposta.

In 1319 the Hospitallers ordered a compilation of the local customs and traditions to ensure their local government.

Ancient Panoramic of Miravet

Several wars

In 1462, when the war between King John II and the nobles who controlled the Generalitat began, the latter occupied Miravet. In 1466 the royal army besieged and conquered it, and in 1472 the king returned it to the Hospitallers.

A town hall was to be maintained there. Life continued without major alterations until 1610, when the Moorish population was expelled from the whole of Aragon. Miravet therefore experienced a major demographic crisis. In the 17th century the fortification was adapted for the use of artillery.

During the Reapers’ War, between 1640 and 1652, it changed hands several times. In 1705 it supported the uprising against Philip V, being conquered by the king’s forces in 1707.

In 1820, when the lordships of the military orders were abolished, Miravet was sold to private individuals. However, during the First Carlist War the town was occupied by General Ramón Cabrera. He established a gunpowder and weapons factory there. During the Third Carlist War it once again became a centre of Carlist operations, until in 1875 General Martínez Campos took over the castle again.

Finally, the fortress was also a major enclave in 1938 when it was occupied by the Francoists in April 1938. The Republicans recovered it on 25 July, during the famous Battle of the Ebro. They lost it in November. These months of bloody combat caused immense destruction that is still visible in the population.

The greatest attraction to see in Miravet is located at its highest point, where we start the visit. There is the fortress that incorporates one of the most important monastic complexes in Catalonia.

The Castle of Miravet

The Castle of Miravet dates back to the 11th century. It was later reformed in the 12th and 13th centuries. It is associated with the period in which it was reformed by the Military Order of the Temple over an earlier one built by the Arabs. The castle retains its imposing walls, adapted to the rugged terrain, and numerous auxiliary buildings.

The most outstanding feature of its interior is the Cistercian church, which is sober and elegant in Romanesque style. In addition, you can see several towers like the one of El Tesoro, the parade ground, the different warehouses and the stables among other monastic dependencies.

At the foot of the castle you can see in Miravet the so-called Cap de la vila. This is a group of civil buildings that originally belonged to the Muslim farmhouse. The Moors lived there from the 8th century until 1610. There are some narrow streets, the potters’ workshops, an oil mill and the river shipyard for the river boats.

Iglesia Vieja in Miravet

Iglesia Vieja

Later on, a new temple was built in the centre of the present town, now known as the Iglesia Vieja. From the year 1565-1585, it is an interesting temple to see in Miravet. It was built on the initiative of the Military Order of the Hospital de San Juan. It was built in the same place where there was a Muslim mosque. All that remains is to enjoy its beautiful proportions, its Romanesque altar from the Templar period, some wall paintings and the sgraffito decoration. The latter was possibly carried out by the local Moors.

There are no more because they sacked the building in July 1936. It was seriously damaged during the fighting that took place there between the spring and autumn of 1938, so they abandoned it. Inside, there are currently several exhibitions on Miravet’s rich ceramic tradition. It is also a permanent reminder of what the Spanish Civil War meant for this strategic territory.

The Ebro River through Miravet

One of the attractions to be seen in Miravet is the crossing of the mighty Ebro River via the Paso de Barca or traditional ferry that operates without an engine. Thanks to the boatman’s ability to handle the current.

Every second Sunday in June, the town council celebrates the Cherry Festival, a product of excellent local gastronomy. It is mixed with leisure activities and exhibitions of local pottery. An excellent plan to do in Miravet.

The terrible battle of the Ebro had in this region one of its most epic fronts, being able to visit many of the most impressive places. In Pinell del Brai there is the Visitor’s Centre Las Voces del Frente on the role of the media in the conflict.

Surrounding areas

In the neighboring mountains of Pandolls and Caballs is the bloody level 705. Here is the Monument to “La Quinta del Biberón” of the Republic. There are also the fortifications built by the Republicans during the summer of 1938.

In the next town of Gandesa is the Visitor’s Centre of the Battle of the Ebro. In the Coll del Moro the observation post of General Franco, in the second part of the battle. Finally, in the town of Vilalba dels Arcs is the Monument to the Tercio de Montserrat, the famous Franco’s unit. It was the one that suffered the most casualties among all those who fought in the war.

It is interesting to go to the neighbouring village of Benifallet to see the Cave of Marevelles. Be careful not to get confused, as there are others of the same name in other provinces. We recommend looking at the opening hours first. Nearby you can also take boat trips on the river and do some bird watching.

Another very interesting place to see in the surrounding area of Miravet is the Iberian village of Castellet de Banyoles. It is located near the C-12 road, past the village of Ginestar.

Must see

Miravet Castle
Views of the town

Practical data


41º 2’ 24” N, 0º 35’ 55” W


Tarragona 66 km, Barcelona 167 km, Madrid 509 km.


It is advisable to leave the vehicle in the vicinity of the access roads to the town centre.


125 m


789 (2012)

In addition to everything to see at Miravet, enjoying its parties is always a good option. First of all, nothing like the San Antonio festivities (January 17) and the Summer Festivities (August). Nor should we forget the Fiesta de las Tres Tombs (first weekend in October). Finally, you can go to the Winter Festivities (second weekend in October).

Among its events, the Cherry Festival (June) stands out.

Ceramics (clay)

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