Culture and History

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Of all the megalithic regions in Catalonia, the Empordà region is the most significant. There are around a hundred dolmens (the largest in Catalonia is the Creu d’en Cobertella in Roses) and menhirs between the Rodes and L’Albera mountain ranges.

The land is a natural thoroughfare area and classic civilisations such as the Greek and Roman civilisations and even its own Iberian civilisation have settled here since earliest Antiquity, marking the nature of this region’s peoples.

Romanesque art has a distinct personality in this region. The proportion of religious architecture here is very high. Pre-Romanesque churches have also been conserved, dating back to the earliest times of Carolingian rule (9th -10th centuries), some of which are singular and exceptional. The fact that they formed the foundations of an indigenous Romanesque style makes them even more interesting.

There are numerous Romanesque parish churches and chapels and nearly all the region’s villages have safeguarded one, serving as a source of pride. But if the Romanesque style in Alt Empordà is renowned for something, it is undoubtedly for the Benedictine monasteries, Augustinian abbeys and towering castles.

Gothic art has a focal point in Alt Empordà in Castelló d’Empúries, with the Santa Maria church and civil engineering. The Renaissance movement left us, above all, some remarkable civil buildings.

In the early 20th century, Cadaqués became the centre of avant-garde art. Cadaqués has attracted an infinite number of Spanish artists from the 19th century to today. Dalí made this place a reference of surrealism. In the same way that it is not possible to discover the Empordà region without knowing Dalí, it would similarly be difficult to understand Dalí without discovering the Empordà region. Born in Figueres, Salvador Dalí spent part of his life in Cadaqués. These two towns in Alt Empordà are closely linked to the life and work of the artist and these landscapes are a constant feature in Daliesque painting.

Opening Hours historical heritage – Alt Empordà


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