The growing (13th-14th centuries)

In 1170, the castle on the top of the hill is already documented and also the primitive Romanesque church of Santa Maria.

During the 12th century the town obtained different privileges and royal favours conferred so as to increase its growing and at that time it already had a market. But it was during the 13th century when Montblanc experienced an urban and demographic expansion, thanks to the exemptions, prerogatives, the granting of fairs and markets. The constitution of the municipality also took place.

Montblanc was the centre of a vegueria and it was also the administrative, political military and religious centre of a big area, and one of the most important towns in the south of Catalonia. The main activity of its inhabitants was the agriculture, although there were also artisans (among them there were the ragmen).

At this time the construction of the most important monuments in the town began: the church of Sant Miquel, the convents of Sant Francesc, La Serra and La Mercè, and the hospitals of Sant Bartomeu and Santa Magdalena. And also some civil buildings such as the Town Hall, the Royal Palace and the Josa House.

The Jewish quarter was populated and, over the years, acquired great economic and commercial importance.

The town had its maximum splendour in the first half of the 14th century when it was consolidated its position as a town with an important political weight and an outstanding socio-economic dynamic. It became the seventh town in Catalonia where the General Courts were held on four occasions. Moreover, in 1387 the Duchy of Montblanc was created.

In the 14th century the works continued and the most emblematic ones began: the walled enclosure and the Gothic church of Santa Maria. The church-hospital of Sant Marçal and the Alenyà palace were also constructed. The town improved the most important services such as: the covering of the Riuot (stream which was in fact the main sewer of the town), public baths, prison, mills, ovens…

During the second half of the 14th century the town entered in a long period of decline. A series of epidemics and bad harvests were the prelude of three centuries of recession.