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Rodonyà: Renaissance and vineyards

Be sure not to miss: old Rodonyà Castle and the parish church of Sant Joan Baptista; the Ball Parlat de Sant Joan Degollat at the end of June; and the range of agricultural and wine products all justify a visit to this municipality.

Rodonyà Castle is one of the most singular buildings in the town. Documented as early as the 12th century, during the process of feudal expansion, it was the administrative centre of the Barony of Rodonyà, a stately jurisdiction under the control of the Tamarit family. The current building is a clear reference to the stately Renaissance architecture of the Camp de Tarragona. In the course of recent years, it has undergone comprehensive renovation that has led to the recovery of the original work, its enhancement and it being turned into a museum. The old offices have become the seat of the town hall and other public facilities, such as the library, exhibition hall and other multipurpose areas.

Among the main items in the town's architectural heritage are the parish church of Sant Joan Baptista, with its neoclassical lines, built in the third quarter of the 18th century; and the Agricultural Union, a rectangular building with a main façade of simple lines, built in the early 19th century as a social centre, which currently houses the town's café and dance hall. Also from this period is the oil mill building, where all the tools from the oil production process are preserved in their entirety; this was used until the end of the 20th century.

As for the traditions of the town, reference should be made to the Ball Parlat del Degollament de Sant Joan Baptista (Spoken Dance of the beheading of Saint John Baptist), a popular street play, documented since the 19th century, which is performed by the town residents. Likewise, the traditional procession of the Pa Beneït takes place through the streets of the town during the summer festival to solemnise the blessing of the typical sugary cocas.

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