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(English) The most impressive castles in Catalonia

By | 17 February, 2017 | 0 comments

In the region of Catalonia there is a grand total of 600 castles and forts that are spread over four Catalonian provinces, the majority of them being from the Middle Ages and they represent a great part of Catalonia’s history.

Most of the castles in Catalonia can be found in the south of the region in places which are high up to offer protection from the Moorish invasion which take place between the years of 716 and 726. After invading Catalonia, Moorish troops proceeded to invade France where they were defeated and forced to seek refuge in the Pyrenees. The Count of Barcelona built castles and forts to protect Catalonia from further attacks as they reclaimed territory from the Moors.Castillo Montjuic

Over time, these grand buildings became homes for landowners and below is a list of the 7 most amazing castles which can be found in the region of Catalonia:

Castillo de Sant Ferran

Situated in Figueras (Girona), Castillo de Sant Ferran is the largest monument in Catalonia and the largest fort in Europe as it covers an area of 32 hectares and was constructed in the 18th Century as a base for 6,000 soldiers. During the Spanish Civil War, many works of art from the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid were stored here and in Castillo de Sant Ferran Juan Negrín, the President of the Second Republic, gave his final speech.

It is currently open to the public and guided tours are available. It is also possible to hire parts of the castle for celebrations and events.

Castillo de Montesquiu

Castillo de Montesquiu is located in Montesquiu Park in Barcelona. Throughout the 9th Century it was a guard tower and then in the 14th Century it became a fort and later in the 20th Century the building was converted into a castle. It has recently been renovated and it is now open to the public.

Castillo de Cardona

Castillo de Cardona is where the Parador Nacional de Turismo Duques de Cardona is located and is situated in Cardona in the province of Barcelona. It is the most significant medieval fort in Catalonia.

Castillo de Montjüic

Castilllo de Montjüic has had various uses throughout history and is symbolic of the various battles that have taken place in Barcelona. Its current form is a result of the work of Juan Martín Cermeño who, in the 18th Century, was given the task of remodelling the castle into a fortification from which the whole of the city could be seen. From the castle, the city of Barcelona was bombed on many occasions and here the firing squad for the President of the Generalitat, Lluís Companys, was located. Throughout the 1960s Castillo de Montjüic was used as a prison and later Franco set up a weapons museum here.

It is currently open to the public and it is one of the beauties that can be found on the magical mountain of Montjüic.

Castillo de Claramunt

Situated in the beautiful hills of Sierra de Guardia in La Pobla de Claramunt, the Castillo de Claramunt is another symbol of the battles that were fought between Barcelona and Al-Andalus dating back to the 10th Century. It has been destroyed and rebuilt on various occasions and currently its walls have been preserved to give visitors an idea of the structure and style of castles from the 12th Century.

Castillo de Montsonís

Located in the hills of the province of Lleida, the aim of Castillo de Montsonis was to protect the land that belonged to the Moors with a circular tower. There is evidence to suggest that Castillo de Montsonís was remodelled in the 16th Century and in later years it was a shelter for those who were doing the pilgrimage towards Santiago de Compostela on St. James´s Way, otherwise known as el Camino de Santiago in Spanish.

Castillo de Montsonís is currently privately-owned and only parts of the castle are open to the public.

Castillo de Miravet

Castillo de Miravet is located in the Miravet, Tarragona and it is an Andalusian style castle which was built with the aim of protecting the land conquered by the Moors. Ramón de Berenger IV reconquered the castle and it became a part of the Order of the Temple.

It is currently open to the public and it is considered to be one of the best examples of Templar architecture that can be seen today.

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