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Peralada Castle

Peralada Castle is a major and complex artistic ensemble constructed in the 14th century by the Viscounts of Rocabertí, after the first fortress — known as Castro Tolon and located in the highest part of the primitive town centre— was destroyed in 1285 during the crusade against Catalonia led by the King of France Philip the Bold.

During its history, the castle has undergone many alterations and extensions. The oldest part corresponds to the two towers that flank the entrance, built in the first half of the 14th century. Testimony of the strength of the Rocabertí home in the 16th century is the west facing façade, in Renaissance style. The last major restoration was carried out in the last third of the 19th century, when the last three brothers of the family of counts returned from Paris; This alteration work produced the current appearance of the palace, the construction of the park, designed by the French landscape architect Duvilliers, and the incorporation of a lake.

In 1923, the Castle was acquired by the Barcelona businessman Miquel Mateu i Pla, who installed an extraordinary library and converted it into the main site for his collections of art, glass, ceramics, paintings and manuscripts. His daughter and son-in-law, Carmen Mateu and Artur Suqué, have enriched the collections and have developed the Castle as a cultural centre.

The current ensemble of buildings comprises the castle itself, which since 1979 has housed a casino; the gardens, which have formed the backdrop each summer, since 1987, for the Peralada Castle International Music Festival; and the Convent del Carme, now a museum and library open to the public.

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