Castellet castle

Castellet castle

Introduction

The headquarters of the abertis foundation are housed in the Castellet castle, a fortress dating back more than 2500 years which is located in a privileged nature spot: Foix natural Park, which belongs to the town of Castellet i la Gornal in the Barcelona county of Alt Penedès.

Thanks to archaeological remains we know that the first fortress dates back to the Iberian period. The castle formed an ideal lookout to control and oversee major transportation routes such as the Foix river, Via Heraclia and, subsequently, Via Augusta, which is currently the AP-7 motorway. There is very little known about the history of the castle during that period owing to the lack of written records, except that is was still occupied from the Ibero-Roman period to the era of the counts and it underwent some refurbishment during the Andalusian period.

The first known record of the castle dates back to 977. The fortress was of major strategic importance until the 16th century. From then onwards, the castle went through a number of periods of decadence until falling into ruin. Towards the end of the 1920s work began on the restoration of the castle, making it possible to recover the structure of certain parts of the castle such as the central and western areas. However, it was not until abertis took possession of the fortress in 1999 that work began to restore the castle back to its original appearance.

At present, the castle has regained its former structure and areas. In order to fulfil its new functions as the headquarters of the abertis foundation, the refurbished castle has been divided into two areas: the building of history and the building of knowledge. The former is located on the old 11th century castle and comprises the halls built during the 1928-1930 restoration in neo-medieval style. This part of the building houses an exhibition depicting the history of the castle from its origin to the present day. The building of knowledge, which is entirely newly built, occupies the area and size of the palace built in the 13th and 14th centuries. It houses several halls suitable for meetings, conferences and other events. Stored beneath this building are the remains of the fortress as it stood in the Ibero-Roman period.

As well as laying tribute to its past, the new use for the castle has shown that the building constitutes an invigorating sight in its setting, as well as being a paradigm for sustainable management.