The castle of La Rápita

The town of La Rápita is located in the municipality of Vallfogona de Balaguer (Lleida), to whose Arab origins the name of rabbita is owed (a kind of military fort). In addition to the castle, in this Lleida town you can visit a church consecrated to the Sagrada Familia and a hermitage dedicated to Santa Margarita, protector of the town.

About 200 meters from the population center stands the castle of La Rápita, currently a magnificent stately mansion very well preserved. It is believed that the place was already inhabited during the Bronze Age, according to the remains found in the vicinity of the castle. Some ceramic remains located on the castle walls and in the hermitage next to it, as well as an eleven meter high guard tower, date from the Iberian era.

The remains of a Roman arch and the abundant ceramic material that is preserved, testify to the Roman culture present, also, in the area. However, it is the vestiges of the Arab period that proliferate the most, since the enclave was converted into a place of rest and prayer, taking advantage of the construction of the Iberian tower.

The first documented news about the castle dates from the beginning of the 12th century, when the barons of Urgel donated it to Count Ramón Berenguer III of Barcelona. In the donation document there are indications that there was already a fortified position in the place, at the time of Arab domination. In the 16th century, the castle became the property of the city of Balaguer, when it was sold by its owners.

As a mark of the old fortification, the left tower of the façade is preserved, with a rectangular plan and cyclopean walls. The medieval fortification was built around this angular nucleus, and next to the primitive tower the main door opens, finished in a semicircular arch.