Are you an archaeology aficionado? Do you enjoy wandering through romantic ruins? Are you interested in extinct civilizations? Does your heart beat faster when you see an awesome landscape? Do you love cheese as a dessert? Do you like ecological food superbly cooked?
If your answer to ALL the questions stated above is yes, then you’ll love this post. If your answer is no, then good-bye. Today’s post is dedicated to Ullastret.
Ullastret is just another little village of l’Empordà (Catalonia, Spain) and, like all its sister villages, the old Ullastret has its own, distinct, exclusive share of amazing surprises.
On a height crowned with pines, olives and cypress trees just at the outskirts of the village (Sant Andreu mount) are the remains of an ancient Iberian settlement. This settlement dates back to the VII century before Christ. A gigantic defensive wall surrounded this amazing site and you can see its remains as you approach to the mysterious entrance to the site. At this point you’ll probably have a big smile on your face and a feeling of awe in your heart. Don’t worry. It’s a totally normal reaction. Go on.
Once you are within the settlement, if you have a keen eye, you can investigate the urban structure of the ancient town, the different social activities that were carried out, the funeral rites of these people, their aims, their fears … Take my word for granted: wandering here is an amazing experience if you are able to find the past in the present.
There is a little museum in this settlement (obviously, a modern building, as Iberians of the VII century B.C. did not need these kind of amenities) in which you can see a plethora of objects found in the ancient town: weapons, decorative pottery, useful pottery, coins, trepanned skulls and this kind of stuff that you can find in any sophisticated culture.
Josep Pla, one of the best writers ever (Mr. Pla was just another immense and almost unknown treasure of this land), loved Ullastret. On the museum wall there’s still a picture commemorating Josep Pla’s visit a lot of years ago:
Ok, Indiana Jones, now you are fed up of archeology and extinct civilizations. Perhaps you need to breathe some fresh air as you meditate about the frugality of time. No problem. Ancient Iberians had very good taste when choosing where to settle and Sant Andreu mount is no exception. Just look 360º around you and enjoy:
Beautiful panoramas … don’t you think so? The neighboring medieval villas of l’Empordà, the snow covered Pyrenees Mountains as background, some green valleys, cypress trees, olive trees, the phantasmagoric Montgrí (Grey Mount) with its phantasmagoric castle on top of it … All the pictures above were taken from the Iberian settlement. Great.
Here you have some practical information about the astonishing Iberian settlement in Ullastret:
- Regular ticket price: 2’30- € (free for visitors under 16 years old, visitors over 65 years old, etc. There is also a reduced price fee, but it isn’t worth the effort of explaining it here)
- Opening hours (a little bit complicated): From September 16 to June 14: from Tuesday to Sunday: 10am – 2pm | 3pm – 6pm. From June 15 to September 15: from Tuesday to Sunday: 10am – 8pm. Easter Week: summer opening hours will be in effect. Closed: Mondays throughout the year and January 1 and 6, December 25 and 26.
Sorry. I am beginning to feel tired and slightly hungry. This has been another long post, and writing in English is an exhausting task for somebody who does not speak English very well. So, if you don’t mind, I stop writing now, I go to the modern (I mean medieval) Ullastret village, I visit Nuri and buy one of her famous (famous in this province) “recuit de drap”. Just wait a minute.
This is Nuri’s shop in Ullastret:
And this is Nuri’s “recuit de drap”, a delicious cottage cheese. It has a bright white color and has a soft, gelatinous texture. It does not have a rind as such, but bears the marks of the container in which it has been drained. Fresh, sweet and milky tasting. I love recuit with honey, or with pumpkin marmalade, or with candied figs …
That’s ok for today. In my next post I will recommend to you where to have an outstanding ecological lunch or dinner in Ullastret. Put your armor on. Medieval defensive towers surround the restaurant I’m about to recommend and some crusaders can throw their arrows upon you. Be ready to enjoy an unforgettable meal. This is Restaurant El Fort de Ullastret:
To be continued …
- Little gems from the Middle Ages (covetotop.wordpress.com)