Tortosa (anc. Dertosa), a walled city of Catalonia, Spain, in the province and 41 m. S. W. of the city of Tarragona, on the left bank of the Ebro; pop. about 25,000. It is on the slope of a hill, and is entered by three gates; the streets are narrow, ill paved, and some of them very steep. It has a Gothic cathedral, a theological seminary, and numerous churches and schools. Cotton and linen goods, glass, earthenware, cordage, wax candles, leather, soap, brandy, starch, and baskets are manufactured. The river is navigable for vessels of 100 tons, and there is considerable trade. There are quarries of valuable marble, known as Tortosa jasper, about 3 m. from the city. - The town enjoyed the privilege of a Roman municipium. It was early taken by the Moors, but was wrested from them in 811 by Louis le Debonnaire. They afterward retook it, and it became a harbor of pirates. A crusade was proclaimed against it in 1148 by Pope Euge-nius III., and it was captured. The Moors made desperate efforts to retake it, but the Christian women defended the walls while the men sallied out and put the besiegers to flight. Many privileges were conferred upon the women for their bravery, and in 1170 the military order of La Hacha, or the Flambeau, was instituted for them.
The French took Tortosa in 1708, and again at the beginning of 1811.