THE GOTHIC QUARTER OF PALS
Duration: 1h. 15min.
Type of route: on foot
What you will find: The Gothic Quarter and landscape.
This is a completely urban route, which is short but intense, with great cultural interest as it covers the Gothic Quarter of Pals. We will discover a number of streets and passages. Information panels along the route will tell us about the place we are standing with images to illustrate the information.
A walk along these streets and alleys of the town takes us straight back to the middle ages
We start out from Ca la Pruna at carrer de la Creu, where we will find the first panel. We can take advantage to go inside, if it’s open. It’s a fortified house from the 15th-16th century. It has been restored and currently functions as a Cultural Centre. It contains: a collection of agricultural tools, a room for temporary painting or sculpture exhibition and the equipment of Pals’ first apothecary, Sr. Desideri Ferrer, bequeathed by his grandson, Sr. Mataró.
We continue along carrer de la Creu until we reach the Plaça Major. At this point we will find the Gothic arch of the entrance to the walled enclosure, the building that is the present Town Hall and the Tourist Office, where visitors can get cultural and tourism information in several languages.
We go through the arch and walk up carrer Major, where we can find the anthropomorphic medieval tombs carved into the rock. They date from the Visigoth period (5th to 8th centuries). We continue up the street to a crossroads and climb the stairs to our right until we come to the Torre de les Hores, a magnificent Romanesque circular tower from the 11th and 12th centuries built on a natural pedestal of solid rock. It is 15 metres high. It is known as “Torre de les Hores” because a Gothic bell tower was added to it after the castle was demolished in the 15th century. It was the main tower and is the oldest and best preserved part of the castle of Pals.
We continue walking in front of the castle until we come to the church. The building was left in ruins at the end of the Catalan Civil War, late in the 15th century, and in 1478, king Joan II granted permission to make use of the stones from the castle to build, repair and roof the church. Only the “Homage Tower” of the castle was left, and two bridges with segmented arches that linked different parts of the fortress, and the foundations on which the chapel of the house was raised. Today it is the private home of the Pi i Figueras family. Dr. Pi i Figueras was a doctor born in Pals who worked in Barcelona and who bought the land where the castle of Pals once stood. Despite being a modern building, it has the same characteristics as the other Gothic buildings in the quarter.
We continue our walk to the church of Sant Pere, which already existed in 994. Part of the stonework it is made of was taken from the old castle of Pals. The different architectural styles are clearly visible: A Romanesque base (10-11th century), Gothic nave and apse (15th century), Baroque front porch (18th Century).
Descending the steps of the Plaça de l’Església, we come to the Tower of en Ramonet and an information panel. We cross the square, go down the steps to leave the enclosure and walk alongside the wall until we come to the Pedró, or Josep Pla lookout, named in honour of the writer from Palafrugell who so aptly described the landscape of the costal plain that can be seen from this point. We can enjoy a magnificent view: Canigó, the rice fields, Sant Feliu de Boada, Sant Julià, Palau Sator, the massif of Montgrí and the Medes Islands.
Descending the stairs of the archaeological walk Dr. Pi i Figueras on the eastern side of the wall we come to the old hospital, where we find another information panel. We can then follow carrer Hospital back to the Plaça Major and from there to carrer de la Creu and the starting point of our tour.