Cardona, a castle for controlling the salt | Cultural Heritage. Goverment of Catalonia.


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Cardona, a castle for controlling the salt

Cardona was the last fortress to fall in the War of the Spanish Succession
The castle of Cardona has dominated the highest point in the municipality since the 9th century, an ideal location for controlling the valley of the river Cardoner and the salt mines. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it was the residence of the lords of Cardona, but its importance as a residence gradually declined as it became, instead, a strategic stronghold. In 1714, the castle of Cardona was the last fortress to surrender to the Bourbon troops in 1714, during the War of the Spanish Succession.

Today, Cardona's three main features, the castle, the salt mines and the town itself are all of great interest.

Cardona castle was built in 886 on the orders of Guifré el Pilós (Wilfred the Hairy), but it reached the peak of its splendour during the 11th to 15th centuries when it was the residence of the lords of Cardona, the “rich salt lords”. Some of the most noteworthy parts of the visit include the Torre de la Minyona, the Pati Ducal and the defensive bastions. It is here that you will also find one of the jewels of the early Catalan Romanesque, the collegiate Church of Sant Vicenç, built in the 10th century to serve a community of canons.

You could start your visit of the town at the Medieval Cardona Centre located in the Plaça de la Fira, in front of the Town Hall. It provides an historical explanation of the evolution of the town and the castle, from their origins to the construction of the walled precinct. You could also follow a guided tour around the most interesting sites such as the Plaça de la Fira, the Plaça del Mercat, the Plaça de Santa Eulàlia and the parish church of Sant Miquel.

From 1929 until 1990 this was one of the most important potassium salt mines in the world, the Mina Nieves de Cardona. Today it is a great cultural facility for the dissemination of knowledge about salt and the salt outcrops in Cardona, a unique place in the world. You'll also have the opportunity to take a guided tour, or to see a dramatisation intended mainly for families.

If you would like to go on all three visits you can do so with a Cardona Ticket, which includes all three visits for a single price. You can buy the tickets online from '' or at the tourist office, the Medieval Cardona Centre, Cardona Castle or the Salt Mountain Cultural Park.

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