La Fortalesa

After the defeat of France against the German Empire, in 1870, of the new geopolitical situation it entailed, and of the new developed military technology, especially the rifled artillery, which represented a revolution in the precision and destructive power of armament, the systems defense of the modern era were obsolete and generated a new model taking as reference the defenses projected by General Séré de Rivières. In Spain, in this context, it was decided to fortify the main Pyrenean passages by forts of these characteristics, the only one of which in Catalonia is Sant Julià de Ramis.

This fortification was started in 1893 but was not completed until 1912 and until 1916 it did not have a garrison. After the Civil War, it was used as a weapons deposit collected in the area of ​​Girona and then as a deposit of ammunition. In 1963 it was closed and the year 1991 was sold by the Ministry of Defense to a mercantile company that did practically no action, remaining until 2009 in a state of abandonment, at which time it is sold to the current owner and the reform with the order to install a Contemporary Art Center.

La Fortalesa

References: Inventory of Architectural Heritage. 

Direcció General del Patrimoni Cultural de la Generalitat de Catalunya.

Protection: BCIN 

Classification: Historic monument

Registration No.: 1486-MH 

Provision: Decree

Date Disposition: 22/04/1949 

Publication: BOE 

Published: 05/05/1949

The fortification follows the guidelines of this defensive system devised by Séré de Rivières, being a great battery raised on a line of fire reserved for the infantry and protected by caponiers and gated galleries. The artillery sector is distributed in three batteries, with a total of fourteen places to chin for pieces of campaign, that were never installed, and their corresponding pantry-through, where the pieces could be protected. The whole of the building presents a trapezoidal plant, with a perimeter of about 660 meters, and surrounded by a pit with masonry counterscarp. The main facade is the west side, where the main access is conserved. The defensive system was centered on the pit, which constituted an excellent full caponera on the north front and a half caponera on the east; The throat capon was destroyed possibly at the end of the Civil War or shortly after.

All the dependencies are located under the ground level, distributed in three levels communicated by an important network of corridors, galleries and stairs. It is about 40 rooms, used for barracks, stables, quartermaster, latrines, nursing, pavilion of officers, etc. The corridors are covered by barrel vaults and looped.

Among the structures that were visible above the grade (before the restoration), apart from the main walls, the elliptical dome accesses and the parapet step with battlements stand out.

This fortification constitutes the only sample in Catalonia of the fortifications of the time. The fortifications of modern times had become obsolete before the development of military technology, which led to the need to change the fortification model. In 1939 the republican troops wanted to fly to protect their retreat to France and only broke the entry that has been so far.

For many years it served as a mushroom plantation, which caused alterations to the interior.

During the year 2009 an archaeological intervention was carried out on the occasion of the project of restoration of the castle to create an international center of contemporary art. The intervention was located in the southwestern lands surrounding the castle and no material or construction remains of archaeological interest were documented.