The Ermita de Sant Pere (Saint Peter’s Hermitage) is situated on one of the foothills of the mountain called Puig d’en Cama and offers excellent vistas out over the Camp de Tarragona. Before this, first a Romanesque hermitage (13th C.) and later a Renaissance hermitage (16th C.) stood on this site. The current hermitage dates from the decade of 1870 and was reformed after being used as a watchtower by Napoleonic and Carlist troops and supporters of Isabella II during the first third of the nineteenth century.
Keywords: Hermitage, Romanesque, Renaissance, Middle Ages, nineteenth century.
The Ermita de Sant Pere (Saint Peter’s Hermitage) has been rebuilt on several occasions due to its poor state of conservation. The original hermitage dates from the mid-thirteenth century. It was larger and of a Romanesque style. Furthermore, it was accompanied by an attached house where the hermits and donats lived – those who were responsible for maintaining worship and the lands attached to the hermitage. One of the most significant reforms was in 1588, under the direction of Pere Blai (1553–1620), who, according to some authors, followed the Renaissance style of the period. The latest intervention was carried out throughout the nineteenth century and completed by the 1870s.
The watchtower of El Camp
The hermitage’s privileged location as a viewpoint over the entire plain of El Camp and first bulwark of the mountains of the Mussara Range has been a key factor for certain military campaigns. During the Peninsular War (1808–1814), Napoleonic forces occupied the hermitage and adapted it for wartime needs. They built embrasures and fortifications to defend it from any attack. Notwithstanding this, the French were not the only ones to occupy the hermitage militarily. During the First Carlist War (1833–1840), it was the site of repeated conflicts between supporters of Isabella II (1830–1904) and those of Don Carlos (1788–1855).