Montsonis: the first private castle in Spain that opened its doors to visitors
Castle Montsonis (cat. Castell de Montsonís), Lleida province, Catalonia, Spain
The Middle Ages: the era of the Moors and Christians. In the city of Montsonis, the Count of Urgell Ermengol II nicknamed Pilgrim (cat. Ermengol II El Pelegrí) was trying to protect the lands that he had just conquered from Muslims and ensure the settlement of the devastated territories by Christians.
The count ordered his men to build a fortress, Montsonis Castle, from the height of the walls of which he could spot a possible enemy force advancing. This stronghold was not the only one. Along the border, which ran from Barcelona to the Montsec mountain range (cat. Montsec), castles were erected to protect the lands of various counties.
The reconquest arrived. Christians from the “old Catalonia”, especially from the Cadi mountain range (cat. Serra del Cadí), began to populate the empty lands.
Montsonis Castle, among the fortresses built by other counts, defended the border between the “old” and “new” Catalonia for 125 years until the final conquest of Lleida in 1149.
Today, the castle remains residential, and that is what the flag, waving above the donjon, means. Some of the rooms of the castle are intended for private use. It was Montsonis which was the first private castle in Spain to open its doors to visitors.
Each stone of the castle holds a memory of its long history. When viewed from the donjon, it can be seen that the earlier clutch is different from that which appeared after the restoration of the tower destroyed during the War of Redeemed Peasants (cat. Guerra dels Remences). Those who rebelled against King Juan II (cat. Joan II) and defeated in 1460 feudal lords were punished with humiliation: the donjons, which symbolized the power of the castle owners, were leveled to the ground to demonstrate that their greatness had come to an end.
Private visitors without advance booking:
Monday – Friday: guided tours at 12:00 and 17:00
Saturday: 12:00, 17:00, 18:00 and 19:00
Sunday: 11:00, 12:00, 13:00 and 17:00
On holidays and weekends – ask, there may be more excursions.
Groups: daily by appointment by calling 973 40 20 45.
For travel agencies: ask about special conditions
How to get there:
From Andorra: N145, C14, C26, LV9137, LV9138