Castellet de Banyoles is an Iberian city built by the tribe of the Ilercavones situated some 2 km north-east of the town of Tivissa in the Ribera d’Ebre district.
The city stands on an elevated area of flatland that extends across approximately 4.5 hectares on Turó de Banyoles, a hill that constitutes a strategic site for keeping watch over the Ebro River. The size and timeline of the Castellet de Banyoles Iberian City make it one of the most remarkable urban Iberian settlements in southern Catalonia. Its main purpose would have been to control trade up and down the Ebro between the coast and inland areas.
The archaeological finds here are of exceptional importance and constitute the ‘Treasure of Tivissa’. In 1912, a number of earrings, bracelets and rings were found, as well as a small hoard of 29 coins. Later, in 1925, a statuette depicting a pair of bronze bulls was unearthed, followed in 1927 and 1928 by the most important find, a collection of Iberian votive items consisting of four gilded silver pateras, eleven silver drinking vessels and two silver necklaces. The pieces date from the 3rd century BC and are the finest examples of Iberian precious metalwork in Catalonia.
The entrance to the site is indicated by the base of two large five-sided towers that stood on either side of the access to the city. They are one of the few examples of this type of structure in the entire Iberian world. The successive archaeological excavations here have revealed the existence of large and complex dwellings, medium-sized buildings associated with manufacturing and craft activities, notably metalworking, and a third type of home that is smaller and simpler in structure.
At the south-west end of the area of flatland stands the fortification known as Castellet de Banyoles, which dates from the time when Christians were reconquering territory occupied by the Moors (12th century).
The timeline of this site, declared a Property of National Cultural Interest, spans the late Bronze Age (1200 – 650 BC), the height of the Iberian era (450 – 200 BC), the Republican era (200 – 50 BC) and the Middle Ages (1150 – 1492), indicating its historical importance.
The Castellet de Banyoles site is on the Iberian Route.
The site is partly adapted for people with disabilities.
© Departament de Cultura 2018 Agència Catalana del Patrimoni Cultural