The Verges castle (cat. El castell de Verges) was the original town of Verges, in the Baix Empordà, Girona province, CataloniaSpain. The castle was located at the top of a hill, in the place where the walled town centre of the medieval town was located, which nowadays is occupied by the schools and the town hall, as well as in the square in front of it.

The castle appears mentioned in a document dated between 1115 and 1164 in which the Count of Rosselló received from the county of Empúries a confirmation of taxes for his properties and mention is made to the “honore de castello Virginum”.

The castle was the subject of many disputes between the bishop of Girona and the Count of Empúries, to the point of the castle being pawned and Count Hug IV excommunicated. In 1225, Count Hug IV of Empúries gave Bishop Alemany of Girona, as a pledge, the “Castro de Virginibus” along with the castle of Ullastret and the town of Empúries.

Together with the town, the castle belonged to the counts of Empúries until 1295, when it was given in fief to Bernat Amat of Cardona and Empúries, to be confiscated again in 1302. Bernat Amat dedicated himself to loot several Empordàian towns that depended on the bishop of Girona; He died in 1310. The activities of the mayor of the castle of Verges, who represented the Count of Empúries in 1329 and 1357, were also the subject of several complaints.

In the 14th century, during the struggles between Count John I of Empuries and King Peter the Ceremonious, the command of the castle was handed over to the head of mercenary from Gascony and of Armagnacs called Bita, with a prior oath in the church of Verges, that they would respect everything that had to be respected. In September 1385, Verges was taken by the royal army of Peter the Ceremonious, commanded by Bernat de Fortià, who, two years later, annexed the county of Empúries to the crown, to return it in 1387 to the count Joan.

In 1399, Count Pere III married Joan of Rocabertí, and on Peter’s death in 1401, the town passed to the viscounts of Rocabertí. But King Martin, uncle of Pere III, did not accept this provision and appealed the provisions of 1325 and 1341 that stipulated that in case of termination of the direct line, the county returned to the crown as a common branch of the dynasty. Thus, King Martin joined the county and with it the castle into the royal domains in 1402.

The town became the centre of the barony of Verges, along with Tallada of Empordà and Bellcaire of Empordà, which in 1418 entered in the possession of Rocabertí family. During the Catalan civil war of 1462-72, the castle was damaged by the attacks of the troops of King John II. Finally, in 1587, King Philip II ordered its incorporation into the crown and nominated Verges a royal city.

On May 27, 1694, it was part of the battle of Verges or Ter, during the French invasion, when the French army commanded by Anne Jules de Noailles, Duke of Noailles, defeated the confident troops of the Duke of Escalona.

The only remains of the castle are located on the back wall of the Town Hall and parallel to the church wall. Only a piece of the wall is preserved, it is about 10 meters in length, of two different heights (one about 5 meters and another of about 4 meters) and about 1.5 meters thick. Some embrasures are preserved, as well as, an access opening to the backyard of the Town Hall building to which it is integrated. The construction body is made of rectangular stones of various dimensions and little worked. Several towers and some walls point out the route of the medieval walled area.

The City Hall wall seems to have been built in the 14th or 15th century. Most of the walls can be dated to the 13th or 14th century, however, one of the towers is from the 15th or 16th centuries.

See here Pyrenees travel guide

See here France travel guide

See here Spain travel guide

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