Casa de la Vila Vella

14th–19th C.
Audio guide: 

In old Regomir Street, popularly known as the “street that doesn’t connect”, today named Vila Vella (Old Town Street), you will find the Casa del Comú (Town Hall). This is where the Town Council and local government met until they were moved to the Montserrat mansion in 1815. It was also the common meeting place for the councillors of the Comuna del Camp (a Medieval alliance of small towns in the Tarragona diocese) until its abolition in 1716.

Keywords: Middle Ages, institutions, Casa del Comú, Town Hall, Comuna del Camp.

The local government

From the twelfth to early eighteenth century, the local government was formed of the batlle (mayor) and three prohoms (prominent citizens) who represented the town’s three estates. These figures took charge of managing the communal services: water supply, the butcher’s, the hospital, the mills and the bakeries. Apart from the government, there were two municipal councils: the Special Council, composed of thirty councillors, ten from each branch or estate, who would meet in the Casa del Comú (Town Hall); and the General Council, formed of the heads of families, the councillors of the Special Council, the prohoms and the batlle, which would meet under the church porch until the Porch Mutiny of 1616.

The Comuna del Camp

The Comuna del Camp (1305–1716) was an alliance of different towns in the feudal domain of the Tarragona diocese. Its aim was to protect its members against abuses of power, both by the Archbishop of Tarragona and the King of Aragon. La Selva, and specifically the Casa del Comú, was the habitual meeting place of the elected councillors from each town. Its activity continued until 1716, when the institution was abolished by the Nueva Planta decrees.