A short visit to Renau – Mare de Déu de Loreto Hermitage by Josep Maria Jujol

Have you ever heard of the village of Renau? No, don’t associate it with the French car brand! 😉 Renau is actually a municipality in Tarragonès county, in Catalonia. Josep Maria Jujol designed many small churches, sanctuaries, theaters, and even homes throughout the Camp de Tarragona region, including in the village of Renau: The Mare de Déu de Loreto Hermitage, inaugurated in the year 1926.  

Renau is a rural small village. It is calm and cozy and its natural environment and landscape value are remarkable. There are more or less 80 real inhabitants (inscribed almost double), currently living in the village. They work mainly in the agricultural sector so we can spot around the village vineyards, carob, hazelnuts, olive and almond trees.

Once you arrive driving, you can see the beautiful façade of the old town on the top of a small hill. The village is not big but Church Square (Plaça de l’Esglèsia) is cute. In it, we find Santa Llúcia de Renau Church. Even you can visit the town in half an hour there are three restaurants in town. That is because walkers, athletes and people who enjoy nature appreciate Renau and its natural ways to spend good time in touch with the nature.

Before entering the village, on the right hand you will find the cemetery way and a driving one more minute you will arrive to the Loreto Hermitage (Mare de Déu de Loreto), the gem renovated by the villagers with the technical assistance of Josep Maria Jujol.

You can also go walking to Peralta, a very small village, which is part of the same municipality. Peralta has a renovated nice and iconic small church and a rural hotel.

The history of Mare de Déu de Loreto Hermitage

As a common pattern, Jujol who was originally from Tarragona province was invited by the local inhabitants to help to redesign and partially rebuild the church of Renau. The current building dates from the early 18th century although there was an older building, documented from the 17th century as well. It is a chapel with a single nave, open with an edge vault, with a rectangular door with a straight lintel. In 1926, Josep Maria Jujol was commissioned to restore it and made some modifications to the facade (roof and belfry wings, six-pointed star in the bull’s eye, transformation of the loophole in a cross). As always, inside we can recognize all the typical “Jujolian” colors: the blue representing the sea, the gold is for the sun, the Bordeaux color is for the love. The painter Ramon Farré also took part in the decoration. Some of the paintings were destroyed in 1936, including those on the altar, replaced by new ones, the work of Santiago Tarragó.

Interview with the Major of Renau: Manel Sales

Read our interview with Manel Sales, Major of Renau in Camp de Tarragona Region, who opened and showed to us the Loreto Hermitage personally.

Renau in 1 minute

Where to stay nearby Renau?

In the village, we could not find available accommodation, but we can recommend the following places nearby. It is worth knowing that the size of the village is indeed tiny, so if you would like to spend the night nearby, you need to look around in the neighboring villages. Our top choices are the followings & now you can book them with a 20% discount on Booking.com using this code:

  1. Hotel La Selva – It is only 14 km from Renau, and you can book it directly here.
  2. Altafulla Mar Hotel – Also not far, only 11 km from Renau, and you can book it directly here.
  3. Casa Rural Jordá – It’s a typical rural house, located 9 km from Renau, and you can book it directly here.
  4. Hotel Peralta for couples – It is only 4 km from Renau and you can book it directly here.

How to get to Renau?

It is situated on the right bank of the Gaià river, which is dammed to form the Gaià reservoir. A local road links the village with Vilabella and with the N-240 road between Tarragona and Valls.

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Other Jujol wonders in Camp de Tarragona region

You can find here other reviews about the works from Josep Maria Jujol:

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