The town of Sant Mateu is the capital of the historic land of Baix Maestrat, to the north of the province of Castellon. Because of its historic-artistic importance, the city centre was declared a Cultural Object.
A few kilometres away from the Mediterranenan, and Costa del Azahar we find this historic town. These lands, with olive and almond orchards, and cereal fields, were ruled by the Order of Montesa in the Middle Ages. The fact that this town was the residence of the grand masters, and the capital of Maestrazgo, attracted many craftsmen and cattle raisers, who turned Sant Mateu into an interesting commercial centre, that even got to export wool to the famous textile mills in Florence. This economical boom is evidenced by the rich artistic legacy, which alternates ancestral homes and palaces with Romanesque and Gothic religious buildings.
The arcaded main square, or Plaza Mayor, is an exceptional starting point to explore the numerous streets that begin there. One of the most typical images of this town is the hexagonal tower of the archpriestal church. The church, which combines Romanesque and Gothic elements, as it can be seen on its two fronts, has high buttresses, and a central nave. A journey through the streets of the town of Sant Mateu will lead the visitor to interesting monuments, that include ecclesiastic buildings such as the convent of the Augustinians, and the sanctuary of Mare de Déu dels Angels, and civil architecture such as the palaces of Borrull and Villores. Three museums will bring us closer to the history of this region: the Archpriestal Museum, the Museum of History, and the Museum of Palaeontology.
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