The Fortress

The castle of Sant Ferran is a fortress of the municipality of Figueres (Alt Empordà) declared a cultural asset of national interest. It is located on a hill and occupies an area of 320,000 m², reaching 550,000 m² if you take into account the space occupied by the glaciers. It was built in the 18th century under the orders of several military engineers, including Pedro Martín Cermeño and Juan Martín Cermeño. It is the largest monument in Catalonia in terms of its size. Located at an elevation next to Figueres, it has an exterior perimeter, measured on the parapet of the covered path, of 3,125 m, and another interior, measured on the cordon of the wall, of 2,100 m. Between the covered road, equipped with sleepers and spacious squares of weapons, and the wall of the fortress itself, extends the moat that, with an area of about 10 ha., gives space to the external defensive works. These defensive works, preserved intact and in their entirety, are: a large main hornabec and two smaller ones, two contrasarias, sevenvellins of different sizes and five countermine galleries. Its covered rooms add up to a total of eighty-nine houses, in addition to eight cisterns, with a combined capacity of 1,200 m³. The interior enclosure consists of six bastions of different sizes, joined by two wall locks.

In the bulk of these, up to ninety-three houses of accommodation and troop services are located. At the level of the pit on the east front, there are the stables, impressive double crugia nave and perfect bill, capable of hosting in its day 3 cavalry squadrons (450 seats). The internal space of the enclosure is occupied by nine large buildings, intended for the accommodation of commanders and officers with their families and various services.

Video of the Fortress in view of the drone

Description of the areas of the Fortress

Monolith to General Álvarez de Castro

General Mariano Álvarez de Castro, military governor of Girona and one of the defenders of the city during the Sieges, died in the stables of the Castle of Sant Ferran in Figueres on 22 January 1810, where he had been imprisoned by the French military awaiting trial for high treason to King Josep Bonaparte. There are still many questions about his death, whether he was poisoned, tortured by the French or simply his death was motivated by the injuries he suffered when he entered. Legend or reality the fact is that from his death began the glory and mythification of the General. Upon his death, Álvarez de Castro was buried in the Municipal Cemetery “in a hole made of land, about ten feet deep”. Four years later he was unearthed and the corpse was transferred to Girona, where he has dedicated a mausoleum to the side of the chapel of Sant Narcís, in the church of Sant Feliu. King Alfonso XIII ordered an obelisk to be raised at the top of the climb leading to the Castle, on the left, near the garites through which he enters the fortress, with an inscription that reads: “General Álvarez de Castro, defender of Gerona, muerto in this Castillo. Pasajero descúbrete y piensa en la Patria“. Shortly before arriving at the entrance of the castle, on top of the climb of the same name, he is remembered with this monolith.
Texts by Josep Maria Ortega (

Photographs of the Castle

Album Rubaudonadeu

Other photographs