In 1153, Raymond Berenguer IV conquered the last Andalusian bastion of the Ebro area, Murabit, and granted it as a fief to Pere de Rovira, Knight Templar master of Hispania and Provence. It was a vast estate comprising almost all the current counties of Ribera dEbre and Terra Alta. It was called the Ribera District, a large territory halfway between a commandery and a province, on which 27 houses and, later on, the Horta and Ascó commanderies depended.
Miravet controlled the river and land pass to the inland, at the same time it worked as an important administrative and political centre. At the end of the 13th century, the province master lived in Miravet, where the treasure and archives of the Crown Order were kept. During the dissolution process, it was one of the most important Templar resistance centres and heroically defended against a siege lasting more than one year, between 1307 and 1308.
The Templar Convent Castle and the Muslim Farmstead
The Templars turned the Andalusian hisn into a new castle inspired by the Syrian and Byzantine ribats. A true transition Romanesque-style crusader castle of Cistercian architectural formula combining the solidest military concept and the purest conventual spirit.
The monumental set conserves 14 outbuildings arranged around a central courtyard in three levels (porters lodge, rain-water cistern, refectory, cellar, silos, treasure tower, atrium, temple, commander room, etc.) and it can be considered the prototype that served as a model for future military orders fortresses.
The walls extend over a crag on the river. Below is the old Muslim farmstead, with the old church and, in the outskirts, the boat pass and the potters quarter, where this craft so deeply rooted in Miravet is still performed.