Figueres. Maria Geli Pilar Planaguma 1 1 Figueres. Maria Geli Pilar Planaguma 1 1

Five fairytale castles where you can live your own adventure


Five fairytale castles where you can live your own adventure

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The past comes to life in these imposing fortresses open to the public.

We begin our journey around some of the most remarkable military sites in the province of Girona in the city of Figueres (Alt Empordà), home to the largest monument in Catalonia and the largest modern fortress in Europe – Sant Ferran Castle. This immense complex designed by military engineers in the 18th century is worth a leisurely visit and, in fact, offers an incentive like few others: jeep tours to get a closer look at the entire moat as well as visits in inflatable boats to see the amazing underground water reservoirs.

Castell de Sant Ferran Figueras. Angel Reynal

Castell de Sant Ferran, Figueras. Àngel Reynal. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

Also well worth a visit is Trinitat Castle in Roses (Alt Empordà), an example of a coastal artillery fortress. Located at one end of the town, at the tip of La Poncella, above Roses lighthouse, the castle offers a beautiful panoramic view of the bay. If you are feeling fit, you can climb the steep and sturdy staircase leading up to the fortress which seems never-ending, as you might expect given its defensive purpose during battle. The castle, built in a five-pointed star shape, has been carefully restored and has an excellent and fascinating museum full of resources and details that explain its five hundred years of history.

Castell de la Trinitat Roses. Ajuntament de Roses

Castell de la Trinitat, Roses. Ajuntament de Roses. Arxiu imatges PTCBG

The profile of Montsoriu Castle is imposing and recognisable far beyond the municipal area of Arbúcies (Selva) to which it belongs. It is located on top of a hill, 600 meters above sea level, and to get there you need to leave your vehicle in the car park on the Fogueres de Montsoriu road and take a good walk: 30 minutes along a gentle forest track or 45 for a signposted steeper shortcut between cork oaks and shrubs. Records of its existence date back to the year 1000 and it is considered the most impressive Gothic castle in Catalonia and one of the most important medieval sites in the country. After a long, intensive and excellent restoration, it has been possible to visit the castle for several years now. Being so high up and with a view of the horizon, it is very easy to understand why it was impregnable!

Castell de Montsoriu Arbucies. Maria Geli Pilar Planaguma

Castell de Montsoriu, Arbúcies. Maria Geli - Pilar Planagumà. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

Púbol Castle, in the town of La Pera (Baix Empordà), and Queralbs Castle (Ripollès) deserve a separate chapter; two essential visits if you are travelling through these regions. Púbol Castle is a medieval fortification that in 1970 became the residence of the brilliant artist Salvador Dalí. In fact, the castle was a gift to his life-long muse Gala, and it was with her in mind that he decorated it himself. Entering the castle reveals Dalí’s most romantic side. 

Queralbs Castle, a fortress from the second half of the 14th century, built with granite pebbles and unpolished metamorphic rocks, of small dimensions and useful for defence thanks to its three towers, walls and valleys, is sadly only a shadow of its former glory as all that remain are some humble yet powerful ruins. It is worth the effort to maintain these stone structures as witnesses of struggles, defensive stands and conquests, as much as the wooden walkway that embraces and crowns them and that offers breathtaking views.

Casa Museu Castell Gala Dali de Pubol. Jordi Renart

Casa Museu Castell Gala Dali de Pubol. Jordi Renart. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

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