Building was started on September 4th,1753, following the project designed by the general engineer Don Juan Martín Zermeño. To raise its great walls and construct its incredible exterior defence system, approximately four thousand builders were required for the daily work over thirteen years. Construction of the interior buildings continued until the end of the century and some of them were never finished. Until 1792 it did not have a garrison.
San Ferran Castle of Figueres -“Castell de Sant Ferran”- has an external perimeter of 3.125 m measuring the parapet of the covered way, and an internal perimeter of 2.100 m measuring the wall bastion.
Between the covered way, with its protective walls and wide parade grounds, and the fortress wall itself, lies the moat, covering nearly 10 ha., of site until the exterior defence buildings.
These defence buildings, all of them conserved intact, consist of: a great main hornwork and two other smaller ones, two counter guards, seven ravelins -of different sizes- and five countermine galleries. All in all its premises add up to a total of eighty-nine bunkers, in addition to eight water tanks with an overall capacity of 1,200 m3.
The interior enclosure is made up of six bastions of different sizes. In its depths lie a total of ninety three bunkers for accommodation and services for the troops.
On the level of the moat facing East are the stables, in an impressive nave with a double bay and perfect structure, that would have accommodated 3 squadrons of cavalry, 450 places.
The internal area of the site consists of nine large buildings that were used as accommodation for commanders and officials with their families and for various services.
Finally, below the 12.000 m2 surface of the Parade Ground, lies the fortress’s main drinking water reserve. This marvel of hydraulic engineering goes down to a depth of 8 m. below the surface. It has a fill circuit, four large storage tanks with a joint capacity of 9,000 m3 and a sabotage-proof emptying system.
The total surface area of the San Ferran Fortress is 320,000 m2, or 550,000 m2 if one includes the space for its glacis. In these small windows 230 cannons would be mounted, and there were sittings for mortars and howitzers.
The garrison for maintaining the fortress in operational defence conditions consisted of four thousand men, with the possibility of storing supplies for withstanding a whole year under siege.
25.10 – 26.03: 10:30h- 15h
01.07 – 15.09: 10h -20h
Rest of the year: 10:30h- 18:00h