Castle of Les Sitges

The castle of Les Sitges (la Segarra - Lands of Lleida) can be found in the uninhabited hamlet of Les Sitges. Although this building has its origins in the 9th century, most of the elements that have survived until today date from the 14th century. The building itself has the form of a cube of stone with a rectangular floor plan with tapering walls (which are thicker near the base than at the top) and a keep.

In the words of the writer Josep Pla: from the exterior, the castle provokes in us “a warlike reaction that has not been lost with the passing of time". There are two elements that point to this fortress function: the magnificent keep, and the tapering walls. The large windows also merit special mention as they constitute elegant examples of renaissance architecture that do not hide the building’s earlier Gothic components, helping the building to chart the passage of time and changes in fashion from the 14th to the 15th century.

The building’s interior reveals its dual function. The bellicose appearance of the exterior contrasts with a series of more stately areas inside, making this a prototypical example of the sort of Gothic palace-castle that was so appreciated in Catalonia during the lower middle ages. The building itself is organised around a central patio that became progressively smaller over the centuries as space was gradually ceded to adapt rooms and meet the needs of successive periods. The cellars, dungeon, stables and oven are on the lower floor, with the great hall and other aristocratic quarters being on the first floor and connecting to the patio via a wide U-shaped staircase.

A service stairway directly connects the patio to the second floor where, as well as the garrets and the old servants quarters, it is possible to find the original, and most interesting, door that leads to the 13th century sentry tower. This also leads to a south-facing open terrace, occupying a space where a walkway used to be, from which it is possible to observe the defensive elements of the outer wall in greater detail. A small door connects with an interior stairway that leads up to the top of the main tower. On clear days, it is possible to see a number of neighbouring castles (including Ribelles, Lloberola, Florejacs, les Pallargues, l’Aranyó and Montcortès…)and to enjoy a magnificent view of the territory of upper La Segarra and the banks of the rivers Llobregós and Sió. The castle is open to the public on the first Sunday of every month, and group visits can be booked throughout the year. The building can also be hired for cultural, ludic and business functions.Information provided by Jaume Moya i Matas

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