The origin (12th century)

By the year 1080 the first population centre called Duesaigües was created near   the confluence of the rivers Francolí and Anguera. It was a definitive settlement by the year  1150.

The king Ramon Berenguer IV, in 1155, gave the first population letter to ‘Pere Berenguer de Vilafranca’, who was nominated mayor. He changed the name to Vila-salva (village free of taxes), so as to favour its development.

Among the privileges that Vila-salva had, we can mention an extensive administrative area, the duty-tax-free and the free use of two important elements for the economical progress derived from the forest (firewood for building and for  homes) and the use of water  (agriculture, flax  and hemp industry, mills).

As Vila-salva was under the thread  of the rivers  Anguera and Francolí and in a low area which was difficult to defend, the king  Alfons I ordered ‘Pere Berenguer ‘ to move  Vila-salva to a hill in ‘Pla de Santa Bàrbara’.  They wanted a strong town halfway between  Tarragona and Lleida, and with an strategic situation.

The town was then called Montblanc because the place where there was the primitive population centre  did not have vegetation.

The new  population letter was given by the king  Alfons I in February  1163 and it involved the  changing of place, but respecting all the rights given in the first  population letter.

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