To visit the ducal town of Montblanc is to make a tour of an open-air museum. The city was noted as an important trading centre during the middle ages and reached its highest point with the creation of the Duchy of Montblanc in 1387. This success is reflected in the wealth of monuments in the town.
In the 14th century, Montblanc enjoyed its time in the sun: it was the seventh largest city in Catalonia thanks to its political and economic weight. Proof of this was the holding of the Corts Generals the Spanish parliament, in the town four times and the creation of the Duchy. At this time the most emblematic works of Montblanc were begun, starting with its walled enclosure. Formed by an imposing set of towers, portals and ramparts crowned with battlements, the walls were taken advantage of throughout the modern age to build homes. It was not until the 20th century that the walls were restored and the additional buildings removed.
The Gothic church of Santa Maria, also known as the Cathedral of the Mountain due to its large size and its location at the top of a promontory, is another testimony to the medieval power of Montblanc. In the interior there is the altarpiece of Sant Bernat and Sant Bernabé, in polychrome stone from the 14th-century, which shows beautifully carved scenes from the life of the Saints.
For its part, the church-hospital of Sant Marçal is notable for the mural painting of Sant Cristòfol (15th century) and a Gothic sculpted window. The Alenyà Palace is the last major work which reflects the prosperous past of Montblanc; it is a Gothic-style building with a large main, round-arched portal and slender windows. The building, however, has been much modified over the years and is currently the headquarters of the Consell Comarcal de la Conca de Barberà (the County Council of Conca de Barberà).
Each year, you can enjoy the Medieval Week of the Legend of St. Jordi in Montblanc, a festival with a wide variety of events focused on life in medieval Catalonia and on the figure of St. Jordi (Saint George), the patron Saint of Catalonia