What to visit in Sant Carles de la Ràpita
The lost city of Charles III
The town of Sant Carles de la Ràpita was founded around a rabita – a small medieval Moorish fortress. In the 18th century King Charles III of Spain planned to build a new city here, hoping for it to 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 Sant Carles de la Ràpita. This great city would have been built around the focal point of the Plaça Carles 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.
La Mar de l’Ebre Museum
What is fishing a la paupa? How are boats built? How did fishermen live in the last century? The Mar de l’Ebre (Ebro sea) Museum shows the skills and techniques of fishing and sailing, highlighting the importance of the sea for the livelihoods of the inhabitants of Sant Carles 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 different 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 Real Compañía de Canalitzación del Ebro (the company in charge of canalising the Ebro). It is beside the navigation channel which was originally dug to connect Sant Carles 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.