The Town


The village of Peratallada is located at the point of contact between the hilly area of Les Gavarres and the lands of the Baixempodenesa plain, to the left of the Grossa stream. The village, which has been declared a historic-artistic site and a cultural asset of national interest (BCIN), is one of the most important nuclei of Catalonia in terms of medieval architecture. Of an extraordinary attractiveness and beauty, it preserves its old feudal aspect, with narrow and winding streets, with numerous entrances and projections, where the fortified castle with its keep and palace (11th-14th century), the walls (12th-13th century) and the church of Sant Esteve (Romanesque from the early 13th century) stand out. Also noteworthy is the large moat that surrounds the town, dug into the rock. The population is settled all of it on the stoneware rock, worked in various ways.v

The toponym

The toponym Petra scissa or Petra Tallada is documented, it seems, from the tenth century. Later the name appears referred with few modifications either to the village or to the different characters of the lineage of the Peratallada, which eventually became one of the most important of the Lower Empordà roots, for example, in 1062 there is mention of a Bernardi de Patra Taliada, in 1065 appears the Castro de Petra Taliata, in 1088 we find written Petrataliata, in 1111 Petra Taliata, in 1112 Petra Talata, in 1128 Petra Incisa and Patra Taiata, in 1143 Petra tayada, in 1169 and 1173 Petra incisa, in 1202 and 1222 Petric ...

Medieval village

Peratallada has managed to preserve its rural character, faithfully maintaining its architectural and urban origins. It can be said that it has not expanded beyond the perimeter of the walls. The village still retains its medieval urban layout. From the main square, with its unique porches, to the network of narrow streets, where you can discover an interesting set of popular architecture. On older walls, there are still houses characteristic of the sixteenth century. The traditional house of Peratallada usually has the low covered with stone vaults, for storage and cellars, while the upper floor is dedicated to living space. There may still be another floor as an attic or barn and often a patio or large exit or was behind.

The castle-palace

It is in medieval times when we have the first written witnesses about the village. Some documents of the 10th century mention it with the names of Petra scissa and Petra cortada. The castle of Peratallada, around which the population was sheltered, was the center of the barony that belonged to the Peratallada lineage, documented since the eleventh century. The castle is proven to have existed in 1065 but some architectural structures seem to show that this nucleus already had a fortress from earlier. The fortified nucleus is built on a huge base of natural sandy rock, artificially cut to give it verticality. The rocky mound rises 4 or 5 meters above the surrounding terrain. Above it rises the great castle, with its characteristic keep, and the magnificent palace, facing east, which overlooks the Plaza del Castillo. The wall surrounding the main tower adapts to the irregular shape of the hill and reaches a considerable height. Remains of battlements can also be seen, giving a great attraction and mysticism to the construction. The tall keep, the hallmark of the town, is rectangular in plan, crowned by square battlements. It has a voussoir door and had an intermediate wooden floor. It is built with rows of squared ashlars.

The walls

Peratallada was one of the best fortified Catalan towns. The defensive system consisted of three walled enclosures. The main enclosure had the castle in the center and the other two were large outposts or barbicans to the north and east. The three walls, with high canvases and towers, were protected by pregons dug in the rock. This moat, of unknown and debatable chronology, has in some points where it is visible today, a depth of 7 to 8 meters. In a drawing of the Monuments Cataloging Service of the Diputació de Barcelona, an ideal reconstruction of the walls is shown. The town is divided into three sectors, each of which has its own walled enclosure. The three enclosures are, according to this hypothesis, totally untied between them, completely surrounded, each one with walls and towers and valleys. They only communicate with each other by means of some hypothetical bridges located at the height of the pass.The currently less battered sectors of the walls can be seen in the north and northwest. They belong, in the larger fragments, to the northern enclosure and, in part, to the main enclosure surrounding the castle-palace. At the north end of the town there is an extensive line parallel to the road, with high walls and rectangular towers, in which the Portal de la Verge opens, the only well-preserved of the walls. To enter you have to cross a bridge over the valleys, which in that place, of great spectacularity, is where they are best preserved.