Sunday, February 9, 2014
Castel Quermanco ruins hold many stories
Not to be deterred we did go on a short walk to the Quermanco Castle, situated on top of a remote hill and accessible only by foot. We pass this ruin every time we go to Figueres but we never have time to stop. Wednesday was the day. The view over the surrounding land was quite spectacular. All the rosemary bushes were full of purple blooms, small yellow flowers lined the pathway along with some other wild plants that had a lovely smell.
The castle dates back to 1078. It was owned by Counts in the Empúries region. In 1472, during the Catalonian Civil War, the castle was occupied by forces loyal to John II. In 1808, the castle was captured by Napoleonic troops, occupied for several years, and was even fortified as a keep for armaments. Despite the additional fortifications, an explosion ordered by Marshal Suchet during the French withdrawal in 1814 left the castle in ruins, and it remains in that state today. We were somewhat disappointed that we couldn't go inside the ruin, which lies on private land, but apparently it is locked against vandals.
Some work has been done on the castle but basically it is a ruin. Perhaps it would have been better if Dali did buy it. However, it was a lovely walk and now we won't have to wonder what it is like up there every time we pass by.