Torroja del Priorat
Altitude: 332. Area: 13,20 ha. Population: 153. The town is situated on a hillside half-way up a mountain, facing north-east, spreading out around what must have been the old watchtower called the ‘Torre Roja’, from which we get the name of the town. Both the area and the town occupy a central position in the Priorat wine region.
The Siurana river crosses the area and leaves on the right the flattest part of the Priorat region. It is here that an area of cultivation unique for its beauty has developed from way back in history up to the present day.
The town dates from the beginning of the Priorat of Scala Dei. The town charter is from the year 1261, awarded by the monastery to ‘30 founders of the farm of Torroja’. For the Carthusians, the district of Torroja meant an important extension due to its centrality and proximity to the monastery. Important repopulation was carried out, one in Molí Bardina, as well as in other towns. The Carthusian Order was present there to recover payments in one of its most important masias: the masia of Bruno. The town has always been involved in winemaking and the proof of its output are the ancestral houses of the important families of the town.
FESTIVALS AND CUSTOMS:
The Main Festival, in honour of St. Michael, is 29 September. However, the most important cultural event in Torroja is the Jocs Florals which, since 1978, has been on the second Sunday of May and features the most important Catalan poets. The Nit de Vins is celebrated on the the third weekend of August and comprises a tasting and show of wines.
PLACES OF INTEREST:
Pride of place in the parish church of St. Michael goes to an organ of French Romance style with Catalan elements. It was built around 1800 by the Frenchman, Joan Pierre Cavailler. The Carrer Major still has a noble air with its stately houses, evidence of the economic benefits brought by winemaking. All these houses had their own masias built on their lands, although today they are in ruins.The town still has some original cobbled streets and the main ones have been restored to preserve this tradition. The recreational area of Font Vella, a place where residents of other towns used to meet in times gone by, is also of interest.