The castle excursions are excursions from Barcelona that will tell you about the past history of Catalonia in the times when the Moors from the South and the Christians in the North fought over the lands in modern Catalonia.Travel back in history with our excursion to the medieval castles of La Segarra. After the Moors conquered Spain in the 8th century they tried to move into France but were defeated by the powerful Franc empire in the battle of Poitiers. The Moors were pushed back behind three rivers, the Llobregat, Cardener and Segre, in the middle of Catalonia. This frontier between the two empires was unstable for three centuries. We will visit the site of that “hot” frontier (except that now it is only hot in summer) and we will visit some of the castles that took a critical role in maintaining the conquered territories.
You will leave the hotel in the morning and set off departing from the city, heading west. Very soon you will reach the Llobregat River that was important during Roman times. We will drive along this river for 20 miles while the route will allow us to admire the peculiar shapes of Montserrat Mountain (pinnacles of rocks resembling to a gigantic musical organ) that is considered to be a spiritual place.
The undulating hills over the next 30 miles, with their patchwork of cereal crops and pine forest, give way to the flatter terrain of La Segarra territory, an area that has the most castles and fortified villages in Catalonia. You will arrive to the village of Guissona in which you could take a coffee in a 19th century café (the oldest café in the village) before starting the visit. Guissona is a historic fortified village, the birth place of Pere Fages (Pedro Fages in Spanish) a volunteer soldier who helped to found San Diego and became the Governor of California (1770-74 and 1782-91). You will discover the house where he was born (now a private residence) and visit other interesting places in this nice village.
After leaving Guissona we will drive to a six-mile line along which three castles are located. You will get to visit one of the best preserved castles in the area in the company of an experienced guide. The tour inside the castle starting from the hall of arms heading to the dungeons, while accessing the kitchens and the stables, will reveal the castle’s history and will show us in an interactive way how people used to live in medieval times.
Before having lunch you will be able to admire two other castles from the outside: one integrated in a tiny village and the other one showing its fantastic silhouette among a few abandoned houses just in the middle of the countryside.
There are several things to admire and do in this remarkable place, touching the Black Madonna to ask her for some favours, take a walk around the mountain or go higher in the mountain in a funicular that rises on a 50% gradient.
Afterwards we will visit one of the most well preserved castles in the area, where we will be given an inside visit of it. The tour inside the castle, from the hall of arms to the dungeons, from the kitchens to the stables, will show us its history and will tell us how people in medieval times used to live.