Siurana (officially in Catalan Siurana or Siurana de Prades) was one of the last foci of Muslim resistance in the area of ​​Catalonia, the last being the Castle of Escornabou (1162).

jump arab queen  siurana
Panoramic view of the village

When Ramon Berenguer IV had surrendered Tortosa, Cheta, ptra de Comte, Batea, Mequinensa, Fraga and Lleida, Ciurana (as well as Miravet and Escornalbou) still resisted, they were mountain towns, redoubts difficult to access and easily defensible.

The Prades and Montsant Mountains are a sparsely populated area and, as a result, easy to defend. For this reason, the hosts of the Count of Barcelona chose to attack the large nuclei of the Ribera d'Ebre and Tortosa, certain that if they yielded, the nuclei of resistance of the mountains would surrender in a short time.

Although the last fortress to fall was Escornabou, a fortification hidden in the mountains located to the west of the Camp de Tarragona, would be Ciurana, located on a rocky spur that comes from the Sierra de la Gritella and overlooking the Priorat, the last conquered population.
jump arab queen  siurana

The Alcazaba of Ciurana occupied a privileged military position. It had to be powerful, it closed the passage with the mountain range, so that the town was completely surrounded by cliffs. Only the foundations of the castle remain today and some very ruined wall canvas. The town has, however, a beautiful Romanesque church of the twelfth century, from the time of the conquest led by Bertran (Beltrán) de Castellet.

The legend of Queen Mora

Although there was really no Moorish queen in Ciurana, and the original legend refers to a daughter of the vali, the name “Reina Mora” has been widely used throughout Spain to relate local legends originating in the Reconquest starring young Muslims, mostly with tragic endings.

jump arab queen  siurana
Recreation of the Muslim fortress

The legend has historical foundation, still Ciurana was, in fact, soothes of a valiat (the valiat of Xibrana (Siurana) - of the Latin Severiana). It happens that in many of the rocky towns that the Christians snatched from the Muslims, the legend of the Moorish Queen or the Moorish maiden who is loved is repeated, on foot or on horseback. Which, given the luck the winners had in store for them, is likely to have happened on more than one occasion.

This same legend has numerous versions, one of them, explains that the daughter of the vali called Abd-el-azia, had sworn that he would not see the triumph of the besiegers of Ciurana.

A Jew managed to seize the key to the fortress and guided the Christians, led by Bertran de Castellet, to the entrance to the castle, being able to penetrate and assault the last Muslim stronghold in Catalonia. While the assault was going on, Add-el-azia was holding a banquet in his rooms. All of a sudden, an arrow came in through the window and nailed itself to a table. The noblewoman, enveloped in panic, understood that the assault had just taken place. He ran to the stables, spurred his mount, a white horse, and threw himself into the void by a nearby precipice.
jump arab queen  siurana