Castles and watchtowers of the Maresme

Castles and watchtowers of the Maresme

The Maresme is a region full of variety and exquisite cultural richness, where you will not tire ofdiscovering new amazing places.

The vast majority of castles and watchtowers in the Maresme were built in the 16th and 17th centuries. These towers had several functions, for example as watchtowers and also as defensive elements for the territory. At that time there were frequent attacks from barbarian pirates and corsairs, as well as the never-desired presence of bandits and assailants on the roads.
Thanks to the large number of towers built, the Maresme region was known as the toweredcoast.
We present a collection of the best castles and watchtowers in the region, but if you want to see even more, check out the map of towers and castles, where you will find more than 50.
Castell de Vilassar de Dalt (Vilassar de Dalt)

The Vilassar de Dalt Castle architectural ensemble is flanked by four towers crowned with battlements and a circular tower in the middle, probably from the 10th-12th centuries. Thedecoration of the main façade is interesting, with a round portal made of large voussoirs and beautiful Gothic windows, one of which is germinated, all worked in the shape of a canopy arch with lobes.
Declared a cultural asset of national interest, visiting periods are established during the year where you can see the outer courtyard surrounding the entire perimeter, crossing the moat bridge and passing the entrance courtyard, the chapel, the main porch and the inner courtyard of the tower. It is currently undergoing renovations, but is scheduled to reopen for weddings and other events in 2022.

Castell de Burriac (Cabrera de Mar)

The ruins of Burriac castle (12th-15th centuries), whose circular base tower can still be seen, are at the top of a 400-metre hill 3.5 kilometres from the sea, and are emblematic both in Cabrera and throughout the Maresme.
The castle was a strategic territorial control point as a viewpoint for the coast and the Maresme plain, from Vilassar to Caldes d’Estrac. It was built on a previous defence tower and was first documented in a document that Berenguer Ramon I received from Countess Ermessenda, revealing the existence of the castle as early as 1017.
The homage tower, stores and chapel were built between the 12th and 13th centuries. In its beginnings, Burriac Castle was owned by the Sant Vicenç family (it had been called Sant Vicenç Castle until 1313). Towards the 18th century, the castle ceased to be used definitively, but the chapel activity continued until 1836. It currently belongs to Cabrera de Mar council and can be visited.

Castell de Santa Florentina (Canet de Mar)

At the top of Canet valley, in the middle of forests, the old domus of Canet has been documented from the 11th century. In the mid-14th century, it became a strong house, with two towers that still mark the entrance.
The transformation into the current castle of Santa Florentina took place between 1899 and 1912. The house was renovated and extended by the modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, nephew of the owner, the publisher Ramon de Montaner i Vila, count of Canet valley. Its current appearance is that of a medieval castle, with tall crenelated towers, a large enclosed courtyard, a chapel with a crypt (the most purely modernist space) and several stately halls. A Gothic gallery can be seen in the courtyard with pieces from the monastery of El Tallat Vallbona de les Monges).
Santa Florentina Castle is open for guided and audio-guided tours, but is also the site of corporate events and weddings, as well as photo and recording sessions, some as famous as the Game of Thrones series.

Castell de Palafolls (Palafolls)

To the north of the Maresme region and at a height of about 200 metres we find the castle of Palafolls. It is a castle with walls of discontinuous arrogance, which dates back to the thirteenth century and is of special importance in the Catalan context.
The castle has a rather complex elongated floor plan, divided between the top and the extension. There is a large hall, a covered cistern with a barrel vault and the chapel, which has been modernly restored. The oldest remains have been found in the north, in the extended enclosure. We find a series of areas arranged as a corner around an open space.
Palafolls Castle stands in a magnificent position, located between the towns of Blanes, Malgrat and Tordera, at the foot of the river and on an isolated ridge.It can be visited free and guided tours must be arranged on 937 62 00 43.
Castell Jalpí (Arenys de Munt)

This rectangular farmhouse has a higher body on the left-hand side, which was the old defence tower brought into the house in 1561, with a gabled roof now greatly modified.

In 1895, the manor house was renovated and took the current form of a castle, home to August Borràs i Jalpí and Sofía de Algorta i Albaroa. Today, Castell Jalpí is the venue for weddings and corporate events as well as other types of cultural events such as music nights or wine tastings.
The estate, with capacity for banquets for up to 320 people, is surrounded by forests and a spectacular lake.
The castle is not open to the public, but you can see the outside, the surrounding gardens and Can Jalpí park.

Torre dels Encantats (Arenys de Mar)

The Torre dels Encantats is on the edge of Caldes d’Estrac, but belongs to the borough of Arenys de Mar. It is a 13th century coastal watchtower with ashlars from the Iberian village. In the 16th century it was fortified with a wall and another floor was built. Today, it can only be visited on the outside.
Torre del Baró (Alella)

To the south-west of Alella and very close to the centre is a watchtower dating from the 13th century with a round floor plan and four levels in height, crowned with rectangular battlements. Along the body we can see typical elements of watchtowers, such as loopholes and battlements.
The Torre del Baró is attached to a farmhouse built later, now used as a residence. The farmhouse has the attractions of a nineteenth century romantic garden and a winery that was once part of the Alella Vinícola cooperative.

Torreta del Castell (Malgrat de Mar)

In Malgrat de Mar there is a public watchtower. The Torreta del Castell stands in the middle of the Parc del Castell and can be visited on the outside.
With a circular floor plan and originally connected to Palafolls Castle, this tower was built for defensive purposes at the end of the 14th century. During the 17th century, it served as a watchtower against the pirates of the time. In the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) it was modified to house a nest of machine guns and a coastal battery. Since then, it has been renovated several times, most recently in 2002 when the Castle Park was completely reformed.

Torre de Ca l’Alzina (Montgat)

The Torre de Ca l’Alzina in Montgat is a defence or watchtower that was part of the Ca n’Alzina farmhouse (14th century). The tower has an apse plan; on one side it is rectangular and on the other it is semi-circular, and consists of a ground floor and two storeys.
The stone corbels and holes of two machicolations are preserved, one above the original door and another on the roof. A simple gargoyle is also preserved for the roof drain. It has been declared a Cultural Asset of National Interest.
The tower is currently being restored. Once the works are completed, it will be open to the public and will become a museum that will explain the defensive needs of the Renaissance.
Torre Verda [Green Tower] or ‘de les Heures’ (Caldes d’Estrac)

The Torre Verda in Caldes d’Estrac is documented from 1549. Also known as the Guard Tower, it has a round floor plan and consists of three floors, with access on the first floor level. The tower is crowned with stepped battlements. Next to it is the farmhouse, probably from the same
period, but highly modified. It can only be seen from the outside.

Torre d’en Nadal (Vilassar de Mar)

In Vilassar de Mar we find the Torre d’en Nadal, the only remaining of the three watchtowers there were in the borough, together with the one in Can Lledó de Mar (Can Rufau) and the one in Can Mir.
This tower was built in 1551 by the Sala family, one of the most prominent lineages in the town and pioneers in the production of blown glass, next to their farmhouse. In 1636 the farmhouse was bought by a Majorcan haulier named Nadal, who used the farmhouse and tower as a hostel. The tower has a ground floor and two storeys, and the flat roof gives it another floor, which was very useful in sieges.
Apart from the two Gothic windows, the openings are simple loophole or arrow holes for defence. It can be visited only from outside.
Can Palauet or Torre de la Vídua [Widow’s Tower] (Mataró)

Can Palauet is a farmhouse with a circular defence tower in Renaissance style, with late Gothic elements. The farmhouse, initially separated from the tower, consists of a ground floor and one storey. The main façade has a voussoir portal and a 16th-century window.
The tower consists of three storeys. The year of its construction, 1564, and the name of the widow Palau, who had it built, are engraved on the tower. The Torre de la Vídua is declared an asset of tourist interest, and cannot be visited on the inside.
Torre de Can Ratés (Santa Susanna)

Can Ratés has a watchtower and shelter that was built by Bartomeu Poch next to his farmhouse in 1584. It is named after the Ratés family, who bought it in 1861.
The tower, with a circular floor plan, has a sloped base and retains the entire surround, with stepped battlements. It was connected with the house (farmhouse) on the first floor. The tower has recently been restored and now belongs to the borough. It is listed as a cultural asset of national interest.
The Torre de Can Ratés is in good state of conservation, and both the tower and the farmhouse and the magnificent gardens can be visited during business hours and on request. It is a venue for cultural events and meetings, such as the Magic Fair.

Torre de Can Valls (Sant Vicenç de Montalt)

The Torre de Can Valls is located in the natural surroundings of the Parc dels Germans Gabrielistes, a charming garden of almost 4 hectares with native local flora and specimens of centuries-old trees of great beauty and interest, many of which come from Africa, Asia and Australia and were brought by the brethren from their missions.

This place is the village's real natural viewpoint. The tower dates from the 18th century and was restored in the 1990s. Its location and the good exterior preservation allow us to clearly appreciate the basic parts of the watchtowers: the slope, the door (first floor), the window (upper floor), the machicolations, the battlements and the enclosure. The interior is not accessible.