The History of L'Ampolla



L'Ampolla lies on the beautiful Mediterranean coast, where the impressive River Ebre flows into the sea. The tributaries of the river and those of the sea meet on the sands, where over time the waves have formed a large pool in the shape of a bottle (“ampolla” in Catalonian). This is how what was once a small fishing village near the estuary of the river got its name; it has since grown into the town you can see today.

 The town originates from the Iberian era. Historians place L'Ampolla in the city of Lebedontia, during the Greek era, which was inhabited by the Iberian tribe edentants or erdets. Remains, such as coins, flasks and antefixes (clay pieces in the shape of a woman) from the Roman and pre-Roman era have been found, which confirm the age of the town.

 The history of L'Ampolla is tightly linked to fishing and shipping. In fact, in the middle of the sixteenth century, Pope Adrián boarded ship in L’Ampolla to return to Rome. During the last third of the nineteenth century, progress started to develop the Spanish coastline bringing L’Ampolla closer to large Catalonian cities. In 1867 L’Ampolla railway station was built, and the first train to leave it was on 8th May of the same year.

 Originally, L'Ampolla was actually an old Inn on the main road from Tarragona to Valencia. According to ancient documents, there were already fishermen and their families living there in the sixteenth century. At the end of the nineteenth century, the beaches at L’Ampolla became very popular places for having a swim; so much so, that there was a special train just for swimmers, which went from Tortosa con L'Ampolla.

 The biggest events in history also have a big bearing on the history of the town. In 1917, during the First World War, the ship Maxsherda was sunk by a German submarine. In gratitude for the support shown to those who were shipwrecked, the French government gave a bronze statue to the town.  

 Nevertheless, the most important episode in the history of L’Ampolla, was the fight for separation in the twentieth century. On 16th January 1937, the Official Newspaper for the Regional Government of Catalonia endorsed a law stipulating the separation of the L’Ampolla district from that of Perelló, meaning that L’Ampolla became an independent town. In 1938, the approval of the Burgos Decree revoked all actions undertaken by the Republican government, paralyzing the decree for the separation of L’Ampolla.

 After the Francoist period, there was revived enthusiasm for separating the town of L'Ampolla. In 1976 the Separation Committee was formed, and in 1980 they were able to start legal proceedings for separation. However, it was not until 28 February 1990 when a new judgement was passed by the Supreme Court finalizing the procedure for self-management of the town, making L’Ampolla a town in Catalonia with its own Town Hall on 5th May 1990.