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Vila Velha fortress - medieval old town

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Vila Velha fortress - medieval old town

The Vila Velha fortress is one of the most ancient landmarks of the country: its age is a thousand years. The majestic view of the fortress towering over the city attracts tourists from all over the world: Vila Velha is the only surviving example of a medieval fortified city in Spain. After a walk through the complex, you should definitely dine at the panoramic restaurant, working inside the fortress, with stunning views of Vila Vella and the Costa Brava. You don't need a lot of time to visit the walled city, but the impressions of the walk will remain for a lifetime.

History of the building

The fortified city of Vila Velha was built in the 12th century. The main goal is to protect against African pirates who constantly besieged coastal cities. It is noteworthy that the fortress has come down to us in the form that it acquired in the XIV century: as a result of research, it was determined that the outer border, battlements made of stone and loopholes are original. The highest point of the fortress, which is 70 meters above sea level, until the beginning of the 19th century was the location of the palace-residence of the abbot of the monastery of Santa Maria de Ripol. In 1931, the fortified city of Vila Velha was declared a National Historic Landmark.

What to see?

The fortress is remarkable in itself, but inside there are many more popular tourist places:

  • Joan's tower overlooking the beach
  • Clock tower, which is located next to the entrance
  • Watch tower
  • Gothic-style governor's house
  • Medieval hospital
  • Fishing Harbor Kodolar
  • Monument to the seagull Jonathan Livingston
  • Ruins of a Romanesque church and the Gothic temple of St. Vincent
  • House of Sant Drap.

Interesting Facts

  • Some of the houses of the fortress are residential: local fishermen live here with their families
  • Cannons from which they fired at African pirates are preserved in Vila Velha
  • A statue of Minerva is installed on the shore
  • The House of the Governor today houses the municipal museum. Part of the exhibition is the canvases of artists who once visited the fortress: Marc Chagall, Claude Monet, etc.
  • Marc Chagall called the fortress "blue paradise"
  • The museum has an archaeological zone, among the exhibits of which are items from the Paleolithic era
  • On the grounds there is a statue of Ava Gardner, the actress who starred in the film that was filmed in Vila Velha.

The object belongs to the fortresses.

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