Among the main attractions of Cardona is the Castle (El Castell i la Colo • legiata de Sant Vicenç).
Since ancient times, man has sought places on high ground to build fortresses that would allow him to control a territory. In Cardona, the geographical location of the castle corresponds to the need to protect access to the salt deposit and control over the valley of the Cardener River.
Built on top of a mountain to control the land around the Cardener River Basin, Cardona Castle was from the 11th to the 15th century the main residence of the Lords of Cardona. The castle complex is divided in half between the majestic pavilions and the canonical Romanesque chapel of Sant Vicenç. The architectural complex includes the Tower of Minion (Torre de la Minyona), the Ducal Palace (Pati Ducal), and numerous defensive bastions.
Cardona Castle is an excellent example of military fortification, which shows the evolution of military art from the Middle Ages to the modern era. The castle was home to one of the country’s most important noble families, and protecting the exploitation of salt mines meant that its fortification was impregnable. The power of the castle as a military fortification is proved by the fact that the castle was taken only once during the war for the succession of the Spanish king, Felipe 5 (1711-1714).
The chapel of Sant Vicenç is original, dating from the 11th century, and was consecrated between about 1029 and 1040. This is a magnificent example of Romanesque architecture which has a three-nave basilica plan. In the chapel there are also several tombs and pantheons belonging, in particular, to Duke Ferran I and Count Joan Ramon Folt I.
Currently, the castle is a four-star hotel, restaurant and cafe with a great view over the valley.
The castle is open to the public; however, guided tours are possible only on Saturdays and Sundays (tel. 93 869 24 75).
How to get to Cardona castle?
From Andorra: CG1, N145, N260, C14, C26, C55
From Barcelona: A2, C55