L'ANOIA, LAND OF CASTLES
Towards the latter end of the 10th century, the Muslims who had lived in the Conca del Llobregat since the 9th century having left, the territory now known as L'Anoia was repopulated with Christians, and they built castles in the mountains. This explains why, today, there are some twenty fortresses, and if you look up you will, most likely, see hills crowned with walls and towers, like the castles of Boixadors, Manresana, Òdena and Calaf, amongst others.
A large part of this heritage was built between the mid-10th and mid-11th centuries on the orders of the counts of Barcelona, Osona-Manresa, and Berga-Cerdanya to protect the land from its former Muslim owners. Many of these castles are now open to the public and guided tours are organised which bring their former glory to life.
To sample a taste of this architectural heritage there are four important fortresses that provide guided tours, and they are very close to Igualada.
THE CASTLE OF CLARAMUNT
The castle of Claramunt, in La Pobla de Claramunt, dates from the 10th century and is located on the summit of the Serra de la Guàrdia. The visit takes you into the various places and rooms within the castle. The castle's structure has been conserved, as has its impressive and intimidating appearance.
THE CASTLE OF VILADEMÀGERThe castle of Vilademàger
already existed in the 10th century. It is in Llacuna and is an imposing castle situated on a cliff top and is noted for its perimeter walls and towers.
THE CASTLE OF TOUSThe castle of Tous
, in Sant Martí de Tous, is in a particularly strategic location, dominating both the Òdena and Barberà basins. Now it is a large house with a crenelated tower that was heavily restored and extended in the 16th and 20th centuries.
THE CASTLE OF MONTBUIThe castle of Montbui
, in Santa Margarida de Montbui, crowns the Tossa de Montbui mountain, where the church of Santa Maria is also located. It is one of the most interesting churches in our country, dating from the high middle ages.
On the way to these castles, if you lift your gaze, you will also see the castles of La Torre, Orpí, Jorba and Miralles
. These castles may only be visited from the outside, but you can climb up to them on foot and round off the excursion with a country trail that will certainly reward you with some magnificent views.
*An excursion proposed in collaboration with the magazine Descobrir.