Observatory of Mola de Sant Pau (Battle of the Ebro)

Ermita de Sant Pau La Figuera

One of the best places to understand the immensity of the Priorat landscape is the Sant Pau (Saint Paul) hermitage. This hermitage is to be found one and a two and a half km. north-east of the village of La Figuera.

This hermitage is dedicated to the Virgin of the Mola. About 500 metres to the East of the hermitage and going towards the edge of the ridge, you can visit the command post of the Republican Army used in the planning of the Battle of the Ebro. The Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936 and during the some months in Spring of 1938, General Vicente Rojo, Chief of Staff of the Army of the Ebro, set up his command post in La Figuera and proceeded to plan one of the most daring offensives in European history of that time.

From this site, high up in the hills, the river Ebro is easily visible for about 40km. The trenches are reinforced with concrete and the former battlefield sites are easy to contemplate. Access can be on foot or by car.

The Pyrenees, the Segre river area, the Garrigues county, els Ports mountain range, the Maestrat of Aragon can all be viewed from this hermitage. In fact, it is said that you can contemplate six provinces from this spot (Tarragona, Lleida, Zaragoza, Castellón, Teruel and Huesca).

Every year for Saint Paul's Day (Sant Pau), the villagers hold a mass in the hermitage. A mass is also held for Sant Isidre on 15th May and for Sant Martí (Saint Martin) on 11th November. The second weekend of August sees a popular gathering to dance traditional Catalan dances (Sardanes) and a big fiesta.