Military strategy and religious worship are united on the highest peak of Cardona. From the 9th century, the Castle and the Collegiate Church of Sant Vicenç have dominated the region and control the salt basins. During the War of the Spanish Succession, when they become a symbol of the resistance for the supporters of the Archduke Carles against the defenders of Philip of Anjou: the castle was the last fortress to surrender to the Bourbon troops and it fell after the capitulation of Barcelona on 18th September 1714.
The medieval complex is divided between the stately pavilions and the canonry of Sant Vicenç. The Castle was built in 886 under the command of the Count of Barcelona, Guifré el Pilós, but was not completed until several centuries later. Of the most notable elements of the first building from the 9th century only the Torre de la Minyona remains. During the first half of the 11th century, it was constructed within the precinct of the Church of Sant Vicenç, an imposing building and one of the best samples of the first Catalan Romanesque.
A great example of medieval military fortification, between the 11th and 15th centuries, the castle was the residence of the Lords of Cardona but eventually it lost its residential function and gained strategic importance. From the 17th century, the fortress updated its defensive system with a ring of bastions.
Despite being one of the most emblematic sites, Cardona was not the only setting linked to the War of Succession. The "Route 1714", organised as part of the programme of activities for the tri-centenary, includes 10 locations, such as El Born in Barcelona, the University of Cervera and the Rafael Casanova House Museum, among others.
- There are three types of visits to discover the Castle of Cardona: general, thematic and dramatised.
- For schools, the Fundacio Cardona Històrica offers guided tours and other educational activities.