On land reclaimed from the River Ebro, next to the river port since the Middle Ages, between the river and the Avinguda de la Generalitat, these is a large, apparently basic yet impressive building, built between 1884 and 1887, the market is one of the city’s most emblematic landmarks.
Based on a project by Joan Abril, the project and technical solution of the roof structure was executed by Joan Torras i Guardiola, who was known as ‘the Catalan Eiffel’. The project was financed by the Banc de Tortosa. Breaking away from the tradition three-hall model of markets, it is structured as a single warehouse, which is absolutely symmetrical with respect to the two axes, with a gable roof and an entrance on each side, with the two main entrances on the shorter sides.
While the exterior is eye-catching and effective, evoking the doorways and buttresses of the Catalan Romanesque style, merlons from the Gothic period and decorative elements that hark back to Art Nouveau, the key feature of the interior is the admirable audacity of the structure supporting the roof. In order to maintain the building’s considerable width while keeping the interior spacious, the architect used 14 iron structures with a parabolic cross-section, as diaphragm arches which, moreover, reduce the lateral pressure.