The castle of Vilamajor d’Agramunt (cat. Castell de Vilamajor d’Agramunt)

From the castle of Vilamajor d’Agramunt, a tower is left, located in the middle of the town of Vilamajor, Lleida province, CataloniaSpain, which is at the end of the plateaus that extend to the South of the Llobregós valley.

The first documented information about it dates from 1084. Bernat Senmir donated to the canon of Santa Maria de la Seu d’Urgell the “chastrum de Villamaiore” with municipalities, properties, and the church of Santa Maria with its tithes, income, and oblations from the donation of Sir. Borrell de Tarabau. In 1104, in the agreement signed between Bishop Ot d’Urgell and Sicarda de Castellbó, widow of Ramon Gombau, the castle of Vilamajor is mentioned as “dicho kastro et turre”. Ramon Gombau had usurped the castle of Vilamajor despite the donation, in 1084, by Bernat Senmir to the church of Urgell; for this reason he had been excommunicated. After his death, Sicarda, in order to cancel her husband’s excommunication, donated the castle to the church of Urgell, reserving her and her son’s authority while living.

In 1129, Bishop Pere d’Urgell and the canons of La Seu gave in fief to Ramon Arnau d’Anglesola the castle of Vilamajor and the houses outside, in order to improve them under a vassalage promise. Six years later (1135), the same bishop Pere and the canons entrusted to Gombau de Ribelles the ‘Castrum Villemaioris’ and gave it two men. Gombau had to have the castle with the dominion and the homage of Ramon Arnau d’Anglesola, maintaining the fidelity to Santa Maria de la Seu until his death, moment in which it had to return to the canonical.

In 1141, Bishop Pere gave to the church of Santa Maria de la Seu the castle of Vilamajor, except the rights of Gombau de Ribelles and Ramon Arnau d’Anglesola. In 1187 an agreement is documented between the church of Urgell and Gombau de Ribelles wife and children about half the tithes of various places, among them the “Castro de Villamaiore”.

Between 1154 and 1159, Pope Adrià IV confirmed and took under apostolic protection the assets of Santa Maria de la Seu d’Urgell, including the castle of Vilamajor with its municipalities. In 1165 Pope Alexander III reconfirmed and took under apostolic protection said castle and its terrains. In the 17th century Vilamajor continued to be under the dominion of the church of Urgell.

The tower has a circular floor. It has an outside diameter of about 5 m, about 1.5 m thick walls, and a height of about 14 m, as a result of the restoration made in recent years. About 6 m of ground there is the entrance door about 120 cm wide by 180 cm height. It is oriented towards the northeast and finished with a semicircular arch formed by 8 voussoirs. At about 10 m there are two embrasures. The local people say that the interior is empty. It had no dome or vault, hence had to be covered with wood. The walls are formed by medium sized ashlars (for example, about 15 X 35 cm), arranged in rows and joined with lime mortar.This tower was surely the castle’s master tower, it dates towards the beginning of the 11th century. Surely when it lost its defensive function (already in the 12th century), it became surrounded by the houses of the town of Vilamajor, a closed village with a quadrangular floor, the entrance to which was through its northern portal.

Read more: Castles and fortresses of Spain and France with Mathew Kristes ...