For those of you who may be spending an extra day or two in or around Poblet and wish to take part in some sort of leisure activity by yourselves or with your MET colleagues, here are a few suggestions.
Museum of Rural Life
Located in Espluga de Francolí, 3-4 km from Poblet, the museum is testimony to the traditional life led in the towns and villages of Catalonia. The permanent exhibition contains a wide variety of items representative of culture, farming life and traditional crafts.
Tuesdays to Saturdays: 10.30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.
Sundays: 10.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Carretera de Montblanc, 35
L’Espluga de Francolí (43440)
Tel: 977 87 05 76
The caves of Espluga de Francolí
The caves are the most popular tourist attraction in Espluga. They were discovered in 1853 while a well was being dug and they mark the underground route of the Francolí river as it winds its way to meet the Mediterranean in the city of Tarragona
Tuesdays to Sundays: 10.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and 4 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Av. Catalunya s/n.
L’Espluga de Francolí
Tel: 977 871 220
Winemaking cooperative and wine museum (Espluga de Francolí)
Founded in 1902, this winemaking cooperative is one of the oldest in Catalonia. The building itself, like many other wine cooperatives around Catalonia, is a leading example of the Modernista
architectural style. It has recently been refurbished but none of its early 20th
century splendour has been lost. If you’re looking to take some local produce home, here’s your chance to purchase wine, cava
, oil or nuts.
The building currently houses the Wine Museum, which occupies three levels. On the first you can see the old winepresses and learn about the history of winemaking. On the second, among the vats, you can find out about the more modern approaches to producing wine and, on the third, there is an exhibition about the building itself.
Mondays to Fridays: 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tel : 977 871220
Montblanc is a medieval town about 10-11 kilometres from Poblet with a population of about 8,000. According to Catalan legend, it is where Saint George killed the dragon. If you wish to be shown around, you can book a guided tour at the following website: http://www.montblancmedieval.cat/en/quefer/visites
Or if you prefer to wander around at your leisure, you can find out more at: http://www.montblancmedieval.cat/en/
. Among other things you can walk along the medieval walls that enclose the town, see Saint George’s arch (where the infamous dragon was slain), visit two art galleries (Frederic Marés and Palau Ferré) and a natural history museum, and buy local produce from the wine cooperative (again in the Modernista
Saint Ursula’s Day (Diada de Santa Úrsula)
If you are going to be around on Sunday 27 October, do try to get into Valls, about 25 kilometres from Poblet. Saint Ursula’s Day is 21 October and the following Sunday is the highpoint of the human-tower building season when the two teams (colles
) from Valls come up against each other in the town’s main square (la plaça del Blat). ‘Kick off’ is usually about 1 p.m. The rivalry is intense and expectation enormous, so the square is invariably packed. Be prepared for a bit of a squash. If you have never seen human-tower building before, this is your chance to see it live. For a bit of a taster, take a look at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G1gpedsBD8
Barberà de la Conca
Barberà de la Conca is a small town about 15s east of Poblet. Of particular interest for the sightseer is the castle, which was used by the Templar knights as a base from which to reconquer Spain from the Moors in the 11th
centuries. Also well worth a visit is the Modernista
wine cellar, designed by the architect Cèsar Martinell and built in 1920-21. Guided tours of the castle leave from the wine cellar at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays and at 11 a.m. on Sundays.