In the Alt Penedès region, between Barcelona and Tarragona, is the municipality of Castellet i la Gornal . Nestled in the Foix natural park , this small medieval town has one of the best-preserved castles, as well as a small 9th-century parish.
In its beginnings, dating from the year 977 , the castle’s structure consisted of a domicilium , the keep, the watchtower and the wall. Since it was initially conceived as a defensive post, it was used to store weapons and supplies for the soldiers who defended the site during the Reconquest (10th and 11th centuries).
Thanks to its privileged location , close to one of the most important commercial routes in Catalonia, the castle of Castellet offered the nobles the possibility of exercising dominion over their fiefdoms. In this way, the military function that it once performed became residential for the nobles who inhabited it after the Reconquest . So attractive and coveted was it that some 44 nobles came to inhabit it, not counting possible invaders throughout its history.
Located on an elevation whose base is bathed by the river, it does not need a wall on the side that does not flow the waters. However, on the other sides, the walls are very high and flanked by towers. In its interior enclosure, several square and cylindrical towers stand out, especially that of the Tribute that, in addition, stands out above the others.
The building comprises several periods, being that of the Tribute and the circular ones belonging to the 11th century , while the square ones date from the 14th century . Over time, Gothic windows were opened on the walls that were originally Romanesque .
At present, the castle is the headquarters of an important cultural Foundation that combines modern rooms for studies, conventions or book presentations, with others of Romanesque style and great archaeological value.