The Castle-Monastery of Escornalbou The bourgeois reinterpretation of the Middle Ages
Aerial view of the Castle-Monastery of Escornalbou. SBA73 / Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 2.0
The Castle-Monastery of Escornalbou in Riudecanyes is a peculiar stately mansion from the early 20th century. It was formed from the remains of two medieval buildings: the Monastery of Sant Miquel, which was founded in 1153; and a castle, built over the remains of a Roman fortress. Its owner, the diplomat, Egyptologist and philanthropist Eduard Toda, followed the fashion of the time for converting historic buildings into bourgeoisie residences.
For more than six centuries, the complex made up the Barony of Escornalbou. After the Confiscations of Mendizábal (1835) it was almost in ruins, until acquired by Toda in 1911. The restoration following a very personal interpretation. Toda even decided to ignore the recommendations and advice of Puig i Cadafalch. Thus, buildings were knocked down, towers in an exotic, medieval style were erected and areas were converted to meet the needs and tastes of the owner.
The results are still visible today: of the old monastery, only the Romanesque church, some remains of the Chapter House and the structure of the cloister, which became an observation point/garden with views over the Camp de Tarragona, were preserved. The castle was turned into a stately home and the setting for meetings of the major figures of the Catalan Renaixença. Highlights include the library and the rich collection of prints, ceramics, furniture and pieces from the collection that Toda had brought back from his travels.
Plan your visit
What can I do?
Unaccompanied visits are not allowed and, therefore, visitors must take part in guided tours or book educational activities.
Schedule of guided tours from 1st October to 31st May: 10:30 am, 11.30 am, 12.30 pm, 1.30 pm, 3.30 pm and 4.30 pm.
Schedule of guided tours from 1st June to 31st May: 10:30 am, 11.30 am, 12.30 pm, 1.30 pm, 4.30 pm, 5.30 pm and 6.30 pm.
For more information, please contact the monument.
Normal: 2.50 euros
Reduced: 1.50 euros. Prices also apply to unaccompanied visits to: church, cloister, crypt and Eduard Toda gardens only.
Special reduced: 1 euro
Normal: 5.50 euros (entrance + guided tour)
Reduced: 4.50 euros (entrance + guided tour)
Special reduced: 4 euros (entrance + guided tour)
Special: 3 euros (guided tour)