Els Vilars was an impregnable fortress from the s. VIII to the s. IV BC, inhabited for 400 years. It is unique in the Catalan Iberian world. Its defensive characteristics made it impregnable, and its historical and archeological value made it worthy of the declaration of Cultural Asset of National Interest in 1998.
Its origin goes back to the year 1194, when the king Alfonso II the Cast gave the earth in which later the Carthusian monastery was raised. The s. XVIII had three cloisters and up to 30 cells. It was a center of religious interest and had an important pictorial school headed by Joaquín Juncosa. The current name of the region, Priorat, comes from the existence of this monastery. In 1835 the community left the monastery under the law of confiscation. At present, the visit allows to contemplate the baroque portal of the Virgin, the church and a reconstructed cell that has the furniture and utensils typical of the Carthusian monastic life. It is located at the foot of the Sierra de Montsant, a place of great scenic beauty.
Nestled in an impregnable place on the river, the four-count knights needed to subdue it. Its castle defended an impassable border that extended from the pass of Balaguer to Tamarit de Gaià. Conquered in 1153, after the fall of Lleida and Tortosa, it was the last stronghold of the recapture in Catalonia . If you look at the precipice that surrounds it, you will guess why it was not conquered for three centuries and why the end was so tragic.