|Reconstruction of Sant Miquel d'Escornalbou (1911)|
|Sant Miquel d'Escornalbou (Baix Camp) was already during the Empire Roman, in the 3rd century, a fortress. It continued being it during the Visigoth period and during the Arab period. It was conquered by the Catalan king Alfons I on the day of saint Miguel of 1.162 and he became during the feudalism boss of the barony of Escornalbou.|
The name proceeds of the Latin "cornus bovis" (the horn of the ox). An Augustinian monastery was installed there and afterwards a convent of Franciscans, who had to leave it in 1835 with the disentitlement of Mendizábal. The Spanish State sold the building, a remarkable Gothic set, to the English vice-consul at Tarragona, John Bridgman, who converted the church in farmyard and the castle into house of the shepherd.
In 1910, Eduard Toda, who then lived in London, bought Sant Miquel d'Escornalbou and initiated the restoration, to make his home.
Once pioneered the works, he asked for advice his friend Anton Gaudí. The main problem was that a pillar of the chapter house was moved. On the 27th January of 1911 he wrote a letter to the master builder who was doing the rehabilitation, Francesc Ribas, in charge to warn him about the visit of Gaudí, in order to inspect the works and advise him about the solution to the problem.
"How did you leave the kitchen? That you took out them old stoves? Is it moving around more the pillar of the Chapter Classroom? Because soon will rise there Mr. Gaudí from Barcelona and he says that he does not want any stone to be touched until he sees it. Santa Maria weary things that he will find that we had not made well! But he will see that that is not the Holy Family."
The letter, published by the historian Jaume Massó i Carballido, is very significant of the character of Gaudí, in his way of working and of how his friends saw him.
Eduard Toda handed over Sant Miquel d'Escornalbou to the Archdiocese of Tarragona in 1926. Because of that has presiding the building a "T" Greek, symbol of this archdiocese. At present it is a property of the Catalonia Government and of the Regional Government of Tarragona and it can be visited.
|Josep Maria Tarragona, December 23, 2006||