Tortosa is located at 12 metres (39 feet) above sea level, by the Ebro river, protected on its northern side by the mountains of the Cardó Massif, of which Buinaca, one of the highest peaks, is located within Tortosa's municipal boundary.
Tortosa is probably identical to the ancient Hibera, capital of Ilercavonia. This may be the ancient settlement the remains of which have been found on the hill named Castillo de la Zuda. In Roman times, the town adopted the name Dertosa. After more than 400 years of Muslim rule, the city was conquered by the Count Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona in 1148, as part of the Second Crusade. Because of the crusading appeal made by Pope Eugene III and his representative Nicholas Brakespear (the future Pope Hadrian IV), the siege received the aid of crusaders from multiple nationalities (Genovese, Anglo-Normans, Normans, Southern-French, Germans, Flemish and Dutch), who were on their way to the Holy Land. The siege of Tortosa was narrated by the Genovese chronicler and diplomat Caffaro.
After its conquest, the city and its territory were divided among the victors, with multiple lands being granted to foreign crusaders and to the military and religious orders.
Formerly there was a railway line between Tortosa and Alcañiz, opening a communication gate between this region and Aragon. Construction work began in 1891, but it was haphazard and the first trains between Alcañiz and Tortosa began only in 1942. The last stretch between Tortosa and Sant Carles de la Ràpita was never completed before the line was terminated by RENFE in 1973.
- Castle of Sant Joan, or Suda, commanding the city from a 59-metre-high (194-foot) hill. Though the Romans were the first to fortify the place, the current structure dates to Muslim Caliph Abd ar-Rahman III. After the conquest by Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona, in 1148, it became a residence of the Montcada and the Knights Templar, and from the 13th century it became a royal mansion.
- The Cathedral, begun in 1347 and consecrated in 1597.
- Bishop Palace.
- The Royal Schools. Founded by Charles V for the education of the Moors, are one of the best examples of Renaissance civil architecture in Catalonia. The architectural known as the Royal Colleges will consist of three buildings:
- The College of Sant Jaume i Sant Maties (it currently houses the local historical archive of Baix Ebre),
- the College of Sant Domènec i Sant Jordi,
- the church of Sant Domènec (now the Renaissance Interpretation Centre).
- Convent of Santa Clara, founded in 1283.
- The Rose street: Despuig Palace (14th century), Oriol Palace and Capmany Palace.
- Oliver de Boteller Palace (15th century)
- Walls and fortresses: Tenasses, Sitjar, Orleans...
- Architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: Municipal market, the old municipal slaughterhouse (Museum of Tortosa), Montagut Palace, house Pilar Fontanet, Temple of Repair, house Lamote (Siboni), house Brunet, Sabate clinic, house Ballester, house Bernardo Grego, house Pallares, house Camós, house Llorca, Teodoro González municipal park, etc.
- Air-raid shelter number 4 (Spanish Civil War) in Ernest Hemingway Street.
- Tortosa Cathedral and the permanent exhibition.
- The Museum of Tortosa.
- The Prince's Gardens, Santiago de Santiago's outdoor Sculpture Museum.
- The Renaissance Interpretation Centre (Church of Sant Domènec-The Royal Schools)
- The Holy Week Interpretation Center (Centre d'Interpretació de la Setmana Santa) is located in St. Anthony Abbot's Church.
Information collected from the following websites: