The town of SantCarles de la Ràpita was founded around a "rabita"- a small medieval Moorish fortress. In the 18th century King Charles III planned to build a new city here, which he hoped would become one of the great ports of the Mediterranean. The plan fell through, but you can still see traces of it today in the urban layout of SantCarles de la Ràpita. This great city would have been built around the focal point of the PlaçaCarles III square. This would have been the elegant centre of the town with single-floor houses forming a crescent looking onto the square. Little is left of this project, but we can still see the columns of the Laureano house and the restored fountains and porches.
What is fishing "a la paupa"? How are boats built? How did fishermen live in the last century? The Mar de l'Ebre museum shows the skills and techniques of fishing and sailing, highlighting the importance of the sea for the livelihoods of the inhabitants of SantCarles de la Ràpita. The museum describes in detail the links between this town and the sea. Its exhibits include a range of objects related to sailing, boat-building, and the tackle and equipment used for different fishing techniques. The museum also has an exhibition of sea eco-systems and a section devoted to the history of the town.
The Museum is located in the historical building, Les Casotes, built in the second half of the 19th century by the ReialCompanyia de Canalització de l'Ebre (company in charge of canalising the Ebro). It is beside the navigation channel which was originally dug to connect SantCarles de la Ràpita to the river Ebro but was never completed. The building is surrounded by old locks and smaller channels making it an outdoor museum in itself. The garden with its blue gum trees and palm trees has a typically Mediterranean air, so characteristic of the gardens and farms of the Ebro Delta.