The castle of Les Escaules declared a cultural asset of national interest

The castle of Les Escaules (cat. El castell de les Escaules, o el baluard del castell de Llers), or the bastion of Llers castle, is a monument of the town of Escaules, in the municipality of Boadella and Les Escaules (Alt Empordà), Girona province, CataloniaSpain, declared a cultural asset of national interest.

It rises above a rocky peak at 235 m altitude near the village of Escaules. It is dominated by a 10 meters high, cylindrical tower. It was surrounded by a walled enclosure of a trapezial plant, of which there are still some walls left intact, and others in very bad condition of conservation.

The tower has several floors and an access to the interior through a rectangular door located on the northeast side of the structure, about three meters away from the level of the ground. This opening still has the stone hinges that held a door. At the top, the tower retains the corbels that supported the four machicolations that finished the structure, along with the original merlons crown, which is currently diminished. In the interior, the tower has a stone stairway to access the different floors, originally covered with hemispherical vaults.

The walled enclosure is quite degraded, especially on the north and east sides. The walls were adapted to the rocky and unstable terrain of the hill and have openings at two levels. The western wall conserves remains of the original merlons that are rectangular with embrasures in the center. There are also remains of scaffolding holes and other openings corresponding to the roofs of the old buildings. Inside the enclosure, the remains of other walls and structures can be seen, such as a cistern (currently half hung).

The tower is constructed with solid stone ashlars, arranged to form regular rows. The walled enclosure, on the other hand, is built with rough and unworked stone, arranged regularly and tied with lime mortar.

It is a medieval castle (14th-15th century) possibly built on an earlier construction. In 1123, a castle was documented in the Escaules, which occupied the same place as the remains of the current castle. Specifically, it is a concession document by Ramon Berenguer III to Ponç Hug I of Empúries, where he hands over in fief different castles as a result of the disappearance of the county of Besalú.

The castle of Escaules was called “bastion of Llers castle”. Both castles were owned by the viscounts of Rocabertí de Peralada. It was a network of castles that watched the border between the counties of Besalú and Empúries.

In 1436 the castle was once again mentioned, as the neighbors of the Escaules were demanded to participate in the reform works of the fortification. They refused and the conflict was documented. During this century, the town of Escaules tried to separate from Llers and demanded the concession of its own court and council, an objective that was not achieved until the 17th century. It was argued that the viscounts of Rocabertí already owned the castle of Escaules before acquiring Llers in the 13th century.

As of the 16th century, the castle is no longer recorded in documents, so it is believed that it was abandoned during this period.

Coordinates: 42° 19′ 08″ N, 2° 52′ 50″ E


«Castell de les Escaules». Inventari del Patrimoni Arquitectònic de Catalunya. Direcció General del Patrimoni Cultural de la Generalitat de Catalunya. [Consulta: 10 gener 2014].

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