Ancient History of Almatret
According to the history that we have been able to recover, it seems that in the bottoms next to the river -not in the Plad’ Almatret-, there were once Iberian villages; near the so-called “Partida de Escampillà” where numerous historical remains have been found: The so-called “Castle of the Moors” seems to have been built by the Romans when the peninsula was divided between the Ispania Citerior and the Ispania Ulterior, this castle is located at the top of a mountain range that divides the Escampillà from the ravine of l’Aiguamoll.
The so-called “Pedra Escampillà” is located near the castle of the Moors, is of Celtic origin that tells us that during the Gallic War a Celtic group settled near the area, to protect the Romans from military warlords Indibil and Mandoni, the stone of religious meaning has engraved an inscription that says “CONIAGELLIETAR” which may mean “colony founded by Gellitar”. Then there are the Visigoths (from Europe), who populated and dominated the peninsula until the arrival of the Arabs. In 1149 Ramon Berenguer IV, founder of the Crown of Aragon, “recognizes” Lleida, Fraga and Mequinenza.
Given the proximity of Almatret to these population centres, we must think that the village was abandoned by the Arabs at this time. Berenguer IV distributed the territory among the nobles who had helped him, this is how Ramon de Moncada was entitled to Aitona and Seròs, and was appointed Count of Aitona (the coat of arms of the Moncada can be seen above the door of the old prison of the village) Later, at the end of the thirteenth century, these lands became part of the Entença. This brings us to the date of 1301, when the “Town Charter” of Almatret is signed.
Population Charter 1301
The Population Charter dated 1301, is written in a medieval context and is written in Latin ecclesiastical of the time. It means the laying of the first stone of the village as we know it today. This Charter is nothing more than a feudal contract.
A contract of services given by the lords (protection, land, services …) in exchange for fidelity, obedience, and the payment of several tithes. It begins like this: “Let everyone know that we, I, in Guillem de Entenza and she, Berengera, my wife, by means of this writing, we and for all our successors, give to populate and build a village, to you, Ramon Carví, Arnald Darques, Jaume Granell, Pere Raedor, Maimó Bertran, Pere Granell, son of Salvador Granell, Pere Carví, son of Raimond Carví, Guillem Carin, Agremon de Fluvià and Borrás Gassol and your successors and forever, we give you, we repeat, all the plain called Almatret, settled outside the terms of the town of Seròs, with all its belongings by which the waters go to the Ebro and even the terms of Ribarroja, Berrús and Faió “. Thus we can know to whom the plain of Almatret belonged from the year 1301.
The village of Almatret, which had been donated by the senyors of Moncada to the senyors of Entença, reverted again to the senyors of Moncada in 1558. Francesc de Moncada, as the new lord of Almatret, established a municipal order. The town was governed by a council, three jurats and a batlle, which controlled the fleca, the tavern, the botigues, the bèsties and the ramats that entered into the rostolls and guarets, the public sale markets, the entrances and the eixides of the walls?
In the 88 ordinances, or laws, he has named measures for regulating water, conreus, beast, net of basses and pous, roads… and the exploitation of coal has already appeared. This document is an administrative, judicial and criminal document. Through these orders we can observe what were the basic concerns of the population and of the Lord and also what were the shortcomings in which people usually find themselves. It should be noted that these ordinances are written entirely in pre-regulated Catalan; their presence in a public document is indicative of the legal use of language.
In Almatret we have two outstanding local festivals.
Commerce, industry and services
The agriculture is exclusively based on dry farming. The almond occupies 41% of the cultivated land (43% of the municipal total) and it is currently increasing, while olives, combined with the almond and barley represent the main crops. The land is fairly distributed and mostly exploited by the same owners. There are 1974 ha. of forest land, private and communal property, with permanent pastures, fully exploited by the local livestock (cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry). The industrial activity focuses mainly on the production and processing of olive oil.
The small deposits of lignite (Lluc mine) led to the construction of a mine train, but its exploitation, carried out by modest companies, is currently declining and it only fuels the manufacturing plants in the immediate vicinity.
Two projects, Almia and Hybuild, to put on the table, intrinsically linked to the territory, holography and climate of our municipality. A new way of understanding the relationship of small municipalities with their energy needs and how they can contribute to changing the rhythm of our planet.
Almia is a bet for the future, a way of interpreting Almatret’s relationship with the world.
Hybuild aims to develop solutions that are both environmentally friendly and respectful, guaranteeing comfort conditions in residential buildings.