Curiosities

Did you know that... Cave paintings still exist.
In the Palaeolithic  the mountain area in the term of Montblanc was already inhabited. Some cave paintings which have been declared Humanity Inheritance by the UNESCO are still preserved.

Did you know that... Hannibal troops passed.
Between the IV and I century BC, in the little hill of Santa Barbera there was an Iberian village, which was supposed to have seen Hannibal troops with his elephants when they passed  through Montblanc on their way to conquer Rome (218 BC).

Did you know that.... The town had three names.
Montblanc has had three names throughout history. At about 1080 the name was ‘Duesaigües’, near the confluence of the rivers ‘Francolí’ and ‘Anguera’, this place was later called ‘Vila-Salva’ from 1155 and become a royal town. In 1163 the town moved to the present area and was called Montblanc.

Did you know that... The name of Montblanc has a sens.
The name of  Montblanc (Montis Albis) refers neither to a snowed mountain nor to a  calcareous mountain. It adopts this name as a synonym of mountain without vegetation, typical of the clayish hill of  Santa Bàrbara.

Did you know that... Montblanc troops conquered Valencia and Mallorca.
Montblanc troops went with the king  Jaume I when he conquered   Mallorca and València. In València the name of Montblanc was given to a street, to thank their participation.

Did you know that... Sant Francesc d'Assís stayed in the village.
The convent of Sant Francesc in Montblanc is one of the oldest in Catalonia, after the ones in  Barcelona and Girona. According to tradition Sant Francesc d’Assís stayed in the town.

Did you know that... Fairs and markets were celebrated.
It had the privilege of having markets and fairs  (1281 and 1297)

Did you know that... Montblanc shield
Montblanc has an own shield since 1287, after the Oloron treaty in which  five towns created their own shields. The others besides Montblanc were: Barcelona, Huesca, Lleida and Cervera.

Did you know that... Jaume II, was the one who most loved Montblanc.
The king Jaume II is known as the one who most loved Montblanc because of the great impulse he gave to the town.

Did you know that... Martí l'Humà was duke of Montblanc.
The king Joan I, the hunter, gave the title of  duke of  Montblanc to his brother  Martí (16th January 1387). This title finished when he died  in 1396.

Did you know that... Montblanc was the seventh most important town in Catalonia.
There is not information about the population when the town was founded. The first information we have dates from the last years of the 14th century, when the decline period began. At this time  Montblanc was the seventh most important town in Catalonia, after  Barcelona, Lleida, Tortosa, Girona, Tarragona and Puigcerdà.
 
Did you know that... General Catalan Cours were held.
The General  Catalan Courts were held in  Montblanc  on four occasions.

1307 in  the temple of Sant Miquel, summoned by  king  Jaume II
1333 in the temple of Santa Maria, summoned by  king  Alfons III
1370 in the temple of Sant Miquel, summoned by king Pere III, the ceremonious
1414 in the convent of  Sant Francesc, summoned by king  Ferran d’Antequera

Did you know that... The General Parliament of Catalonia was held.
During the interregnum and before the Casp Agreement  (Compromís de Casp) (10th  September 1410) the temple of Sant Miquel held the General Parliament of Catalonia. It could not be finished because of the Black Death, which provoked that only a few assistants came here. It continued in  Barcelona and then in Tortosa, where they  chose the Catalan representatives who went to Casp to choose a new king.

Did you know that... The parish church had a "plebà".
From the 15th century the priest of the temple of  Santa Maria in Montblanc has the title of  ‘plebà’. Nowadays there are two more called like this: in Oliva (la Safor) and Ontinyent (la Vall d’Albaida).

Did you know that... Other General Courts were planned.
In 1640, the king Felip III (IV in Castila) planned to convoke General Courts in Montblanc again. But for different reasons they were never celebrated.

Did you know that... The village suffered assaults, pillages and destructions.

Montblanc, throughout history, has suffered a lot of attacks, lootings and destructions. Some of the most bloody took place in the 17th century, after the  Segadors revolt, and the Castilian troops always took a leading part in them:
    30th August and  23rd September  1642: first the Castilian army with  8.000 men arrived here and there were lootings which frightened the population. Then on the way from Tarragona to Lleida, they  attacked  the town and there were lootings again. This was called  ‘the general burning’, in which the municipality  and the parish archives were destroyed and also the ones in the hospital of Santa Magdalena.
    29th September  1649: 7.000 infantrymen and 3.000 horses attacked the town, because French troops had been fortified in the temple of  Santa Maria.
    March  1651.There was a siege which finished  the 16th July, when the Castilian troops pulled down part of the temple of Santa Maria (the gothic façade),  several towers and parts of the walls.

Did you know that... There was a demographic explosion.
During the second half of the 18th century there was a demographic explosion, due to the agricultural development of the town. A lot of people came to the town and the population increased about  300% during this century.

Did you know that... In Montblanc Fra Magí Català Guasch was born.
Fra Magí Català i Guasch (an important friar) was born in Montblanc (1761- 1830), he was a missionary on the west coast  of  North-America (from Califòrnia to Canada). There is an island in his honour in front of Vancouver which is called  Català Island.

Did you know that... The economical progress arrived in the 19th century.
The economical progress in the 19th century made that some people could restore their houses which were in a bad state   and it  also began the construction of new ones. In 1833 there were   625 houses and in 1897 there were  1.189.

Did you know that... In 1860 it had its maximun population.
The term of Montblanc had its maximum population in 1860 with 6.628 inhabitants, during the period called  ‘la Febre d’Or’ (the Gold Fever) which was produced thanks to the vineyard.

Did you know that... Arches and porches were destroyed.
Between the years 1855 and 1865 the arches that covered part of Major Street were demolished because the carts could not pass through. The two porches at the sides of Major Street (Sant Francesc Porch and Sant Antoni Porch) were also demolished.

Did you know that... It began a new gas lightning service.
In  1878 It began a new gas lightning service.

Did you know that... It was declared Monumental Artistic Ensemble.
The 26th September 1947 Montblanc was declared Monumental Artistic Ensemble.

Did you know that... Josep Tarradellas visited Montblanc.
The 30th  September 1978 the president Josep Tarradellas visited Montblanc.

Did you know that... The legend of Saint George was placed in Montblanc.
The writer about customs and manners  Joan Amades collects the tradition which says that  Saint George killed the dragon in  Montblanc. Because of this, every year, from 1987, we celebrate the Medieval Week of Saint George, with performances and activities according to the medieval period.

Did you know that... Every year, there is a medieval Town Plenary.
Every year, during the celebration of the Medieval Week, there is a Town Plenary in which the town councillors are dressed like the ones in the medieval period and they wear the symbols of authority  in memory of an old privilege.

Did you know that... Montblanc has its own hymn.
From the 10th of September 2000 Montblanc  has its own hymn, a piece composed by  Josep M. Amorós i Bayer, a musical composer who was born in the town.

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