And if the Hard Rock didn't occur | pocket book | EUROtoday

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The Hard Rock will likely be carried out. Because folks marvel how we’ll earn the carobs if it’s not carried out. But do they know how you can do anything in that a part of the world? Coming from the north, leaving the AP-2 behind the Montmell massif, the place Camp de Tarragona begins, there’s a place known as Vilardida. It is just not very well-known by the folks of the nation, aside from the proximity to the sanctuary of Our Lady of Montserrat in Montferri, Jujol's martian work, and the existence of a semi-rural resort the place porn films had been filmed. Or no less than that's what it was known as and everybody was consuming bread. We have the primary information of Vilardida between the years 960 and 990, when the brothers Calabuig and Guadamir – who had earlier dealings with Count Sunyer I of Barcelona – bought the fort of Castellví de la Marca. Vilardida was one in every of its landmarks and, due to this fact, an outpost of the Catalan counties on the time when the so-called reconquest started. It was purchased by a sure Sendred, who may very properly be the noble Sendred of Gurb. He and his son Bernat devoted themselves, across the flip of the millennium, to fortifying this border of the higher reaches of the Francolí and Gaià rivers and started to look down, down in direction of the coast, to the mouth of the river, the place there may be the fort of Tamarit, which the Gurbs additionally purchased and made a fort. The Gaià runs alongside Vilardida and, following the stream, it's solely twenty kilometers to achieve the ocean. It is the nerve from the place the Christian repopulation of coastal New Catalonia originated, and even at the moment a line of castles allow us to intuit that the incursion into this territory was not straightforward and had strategic worth. This is the start of the Catalan colonization of Tarragona, which has lasted till the current day and which is about to finish as a result of there are different colonists who’re asking for an finish.

Nothing occurs, it's the regulation of life. Previously, the Moors stayed there for a few centuries, since al-Hurr took the outdated imperial metropolis in 716. The Franks, earlier than that, had looted the entire of Tarraconense rigorously, so it should not have been very difficult. The Romans repressed the Iberians to the purpose of exterminating them, and steadily pushed them again. Now the Catalans are in retreat, however we already produce other tribes and civilizations able to take over, you simply have to stay your head out the window or have a look at any survey of language utilization. It doesn’t matter. It must be famous, nevertheless, that not all of the cities and villages which have handed by means of Tarragona have left the identical mark and what would now be known as, in financial phrases, “added value”. The Romans, for instance, introduced and unfold the vine, which for hundreds of years and to this present day has been an indicator of the area. The complete countryside of Tarragona was planted with vines and equipped the Empire with an considerable and low cost manufacturing that got here to burst the costs, to the purpose that the Roman winegrowers of Lazio needed to arrange a sacramental of criticism within the port of Ostia within the purest type of the French farmer in La Jonquera. Not even the phylloxera may finish the identification of wine with Tarragona and properly into the twentieth century, extra liters got here out of town's port from its hinterland than from the entire of La Rioja. Of course, all the time with the situation of the low value and mediocre high quality of a wine that was exported in bulk and bottled at vacation spot.

We start to discover a sample: the low value it has been a relentless all through the financial historical past of the area. Another colonizer who left a really good-looking legacy there was General Franco. With the invaluable collaboration of the affected natives, the Spanish introduced the petrochemical business to Tarragona and, above all, mass tourism, the results of a gap and improvement plan that included seashores from throughout Spain, together with these of the one named Costa Daurada and particularly these of Salou.

Church of Santa Maria de Vilardida, in the High Field (Tarragona).
Church of Santa Maria de Vilardida, within the High Field (Tarragona).Albert Esteves (Poblesdecataluny

But let's return to the History of Vilardida, our inside refuge. In 1151, Ramon de Llorenç started the development of a fortress there, which is of relative curiosity. But in 2024 the vintner Oriol Pérez de Tudela buys the village church to place wine bottles there and maintain cultural occasions, which is maybe extra fascinating. Well, he doesn't purchase it: he obtains a proper of floor and use for 55 years from the Archbishopric, which has proceeded to desacralize the area. Everything has been carried out with respect. I witnessed how, on the day of the reconsecration of the Vilardida church as a brand new enocultural worship constructing, passages of Nature of Lucretius, as a result of it’s ugly to take away a god from a spot with out changing it with one other, even whether it is pagan. Pérez de Tudela, from Valls, makes wine along with his spouse Mercè Salvat on the Vinyes del Tiet Pere vineyard in Vilabella, a bit additional down. In addition, it’s, let's say, a cultural dynamizer of this foundational axis of the Terres del Gaià. And additionally from DO Tarragona till they confirmed him the door: he had too many concepts. It is just not the one city animal that has taken refuge in Gaià. The additionally Tarragona activist Berna Ríos, soul of the already conventional festivals of wine tradition Santa Teca and l'Embutada, has additionally set his sights on this mini-valley of castles, taking up from the filmmaker Bigas Luna or the painter Bartolozzi, who had been a form of pioneers to detect the geographical and cultural significance of this border strip. It is a time of ethnic retreat, and the tendency is to go searching for origins the place till not too long ago there have been solely deserted stone homes and depopulation. The distinction and the particularity of this second is the confluence of this cultural and identification confusion with the unique exercise that gave financial that means to the territory as soon as it misplaced its perform as a navy outpost: wine and the winery. Pérez de Tudela is evident: the one productive mannequin that has been profitable in Tarragona and has not turned its again on the area is the wine business, which has been its personal for hundreds of years, is rooted and doesn’t contain damaging externalities, reminiscent of business and mass tourism, which is what now appears to lastly concern us.

The paradigmatic instance of this success is the Priory. The wines made there have worldwide status, which is the exception in Tarragona (for now). The high quality of the product and the agricultural story of the area – half epic, half lyrical – has led to the consolidation of the most effective tourism that may be present in Tarragona: respectful, within the nation's tradition and that leaves cash. It is estimated that the wealth introduced by the customer wine lover with respect to the seashore vacationer, it has a multiplication issue of three. The problem is to know if the Priorat mannequin will be scaled to the remainder of the area, taking into consideration that the Priorat is a small, delimited and orographically explicit space. According to Pérez de Tudela – who’s finding out whether or not the mannequin will be replicated in Gaià – the demand is there and never sufficient efforts are being made to fulfill it. And this although these answerable for the Administration realize it, in idea.

The final promotion marketing campaign of the Generalitat INCAVI physique had, although the content material appeared extra like an Estrella Damm commercial, an unequivocal slogan: “Wine is culture”. And within the manifesto additionally promoted by the Catalan authorities for the occasion/tinglado “Catalunya. World Gastronomy Region 2025″, they appear to have it very clear: “Bet on a change of mannequin in direction of regenerative and high quality meals and wine tourism, which brings worth to the group, related to a mannequin of agri-food manufacturing rooted and dedicated to the territory and, due to this fact, a brand new financial mannequin that’s respectful of each the group and the tradition and pure atmosphere that hosts it”. beautiful The question we should ask ourselves now is: if everyone – private agents and public bodies – understands the dangers of mass tourism detached from their own culture, the diagnosis of the problem is shared and an unmet international demand for tourists has been identified potentially better, why are all the pressures – even to the point of bringing down a Government – aimed at reinforcing the opposite model, the model of alienated casinos and tourism that preys on resources?

Aerial view of Horta de Sant Joan (Terra Alta, Tarragona)
Aerial view of Horta de Sant Joan (Terra Alta, Tarragona) Sergi Boixader (Alamy Stock Photo)

The answer has several sides. The first is hypocrisy. More than ever, the official discourse — like a litany designed to calm consciences, justify salaries and never touch the ground — is detached from the facts. The reality is as hard as concrete, and all this beautiful change to a tourism model full of content and good intentions that should save us from burning is still a minority idea. And within that minority, the majority just say they believe it because that's what they have to say. We go down to the beach, towards Salou. We find a sparse business fabric, commercial employment figures that have already exceeded the statistical threshold of desertification (as in many medium-sized cities in the country, but amplified) and municipal income from derisory economic activities – according to the latest data, only 4% of this income comes from the IAE, far from the 13% of Vila-seca, the 10% of Tarragona and the 54% of Pobla de Mafumet; they are populations fed by industry. On the contrary, this year the data on hotel occupancy and length of stay of visitors are excellent. In fact, if we discount the insular exceptions, Madrid – which is already the main tourist destination in Spain – and a little Barcelona, ​​we find that Benidorm and Salou continue to be, in absolute terms, the highest tourist poles of the State. Exactly how Franco designed the sun and beach harness product. The intersection of all the statistics gives a clear message: Salou – and behind it the whole Costa Daurada – is trapped, like a sentence made of uncontrollable success, in the old model, and can only be allowed to continue growing with the implementation of new economic macro-spaces, as was Port Aventura at the time and will now be Hard Rock. The cruise ship is so big that it will take a lot to turn it, even if what we would all like is a bucolic model of our own wine and culture.

In truth, there isn’t any tourism that doesn’t have a tradition behind it, and that of the Costa Daurada may be very properly outlined even when it appears execrable to many. When the political storm passes and public opinion will get bored with protesting, Hard Rock will likely be carried out. Because there are too many individuals for whom it’s handy to do it. And the tourism we may have, for probably the most half, will likely be low-cost, just like the wine that the port of Tarragona bought to the Empire. But even when nobody bets on it, we are able to all the time say that there was another, hidden in a church within the hidden place of Vilardida.

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