Medieval castles in the vicinity of Montgrí
On this route we will not only travel to the past, but also the Empordà lands that are crowned by fantastic medieval fortifications that accompany us at all times.
We begin with the north of Baix Empordà that is closer to the coast. Therefore, we will go from Bellcaire d'Emporda to Verges, through the Montgrí Castle and discovering charming corners that are unknown to many. We take the opportunity to learn about the traditions they have in these municipalities and help us to know a little history that has made them what they are today.
In fact, this area shows traces of the Catalan past that gave rise to the shape of the Catalonia we know today and which is close to the territory.
Castle Bellcaire d'Emporda was for many years a bone of contention between the counts of Empúries and the monarchy. In fact, the counts remained in the castle of Bellcaire and the monarchy, meanwhile, began to build the castle of Montgrí to assert their power. However, he did not need to finish, as the king finally took the castle of Bellcaire.
For this reason, the castle of Montgrí was half and, even today, still staring at the village and the castle of Bellcaire, which is located on a hill and framed by the mountains of Valldavià and accessed from any of its narrow and steep streets.
The village of Bellcaire d'Empordà presents a restored architectural ensemble carefully, so is declared a national monument. Castle Square presents this square building which is surrounded by an outer enclosure with round towers defense.
Currently, this building serves as a council, like the large hall changed its use and now is the church of San Juan.
Flag of Catalonia, the end of Empúries County
Empúries County has resulted eventually in Empordà county and this was one of the last to join the Crown of Catalonia and Aragon. In fact, the history of Empúries County capitulation before the actual power is what Good Friday is narrated in the spectacle of flag of Catalonia, the end of Empúries County organized by the neighbors of the population. It was born from the hands of Stephen Albert and Corp who wrote the text of the work on the county.
In this representation the events recounted in the thirteenth century, when James I the Conqueror received in the reunified heritage of Catalonia and Occitania by the Crown of Aragon and that was in full Mediterranean expansion area. The show also extends to early fourteenth century when James II, grandson of James I, extended the domains of the Crown of Aragon.
The representation of the show Flag of Catalonia, the end of Empúries County for a few days accompanied Market Counts where we find food tastings, samples of trades and crafts.
Montgrí massif majestic shown in the area and demands our attention, not only by the view from your feet, but also by the view offered from above. So, we can not recommend an excursion to the castle of Montgrí or Santa Catalina, the name given to the mountain where it is located.
We've all heard previously, it is that the castle of Montgri has been defined in different ways. For example, some say that is a stone lighthouse that illuminates the Baix Empordà, since for many years has served to guide fishermen and farmers in the area; also it is said to be the nipple protruding from this mountain; or even, some say he sees the silhouette of a bishop resting in peace after a long life and still wears his ring, which represents the castle.
The path that leads us up is the path GR-92 and takes us through barren fields where we still find old terraces and dry stone walls where there had been vineyards. Once the trail climbs, the road becomes a scree that leads us to the foot of the castle where we see the remains of the quarry that was used for its construction.
At this point, the fortress built in 1294 tells its function as a control point Empúries County by the monarchy. As we said, its construction was half as Barcelona County consolidated its strength against the counts of Empúries.
From the castle of Montgrí
Once up, the only gateway to Montgrí Castle is located on the main facade. It consists of a semicircular arch supported by large segments that indicate the transition from architectural construction astride the Romanesque and Gothic that is evident in the details that shows this construction means and that if he had finished to build now we not appreciate.
Inside are large tanks that had been prepared to supply the stalkers troops County Empúries. We also found stays in the round towers on each corner of the castle, plus a spiral staircase that let get us to the top the walls and towers. The views from up here are fantastic and allow us to see the town of Torroella de Montgrí, the Ter River, the Gulf of Roses, Cape Creus, Estartit and the Medes Islands.
To finish this route, we will go to the last point of visit: the castle of Verges where we enter this villa surrounded by medieval air with ancient walls and towers still standing. The Ter river gave life to people born and grow and today still waters of the canal Mill ply the houses that are next to the wall.
The oldest part of the town of Verges is walled with the openings of the gates to the main square and two towers, one square and one round, built in the thirteenth and fifteenth century respectively.
Verges Castle which was built in the twelfth century and which gave rise to the population are few samples. Only one wall is now holding the town hall and together with the square in front and schools form the walled area.
Inside wall also we find the parish church of San Julián and Santa Basilia that still retains the ship and part of the apse of the Romanesque church.
Traditions preserved in these populations, as we have seen above, have a clear reference to its medieval past. In the case of Verges, one of the most traditional festivals it is related to the custom that had the feudal lord of the territory that was feeding the townspeople.
This tradition is recovered every Shrove Tuesday. A soup cooked with what is acquired during the last of the soup is to go house to house and group the ingredients needed to make it done then. Since potatoes, chickpeas or meat and in some cases even money.
Once cooked, the inhabitants and visitors of the population tested the soup cooked with all the ingredients listed and that both feel cold season.
Procession of Verges
This tradition is known throughout the country and, indeed, have a more extensive explanation in our path Passions we recommend visit to discover everything they offer us the celebrations of Holy Week in Catalonia.
Procession of Verges is held on Holy Thursday and his most famous and best known is the part that represents the picture of the Dance of Death in ten skeletons dance to the drum marks the rhythm symbols ash, scythe the clock and the flag, indicating respectively, the dust in which we will, the tool to collect the fruits that gives us life, the passage of time and the constant presence of death before men, without exception.